Called MAGA, Inc., the new group will merge with an existing Trump-sanctioned super PAC that has been largely overseen by former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. As of last month, that group had spent a little more than $2 million boosting Trump-backed Senate and House candidates in their primary races earlier this year.
“President Trump is committed to saving America, and Make America Great Again, Inc. will ensure that is achieved at the ballot box in November and beyond,” Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich said in a statement Friday.
Budowich has been charged with running the new super PAC along with former Trump campaign aide Steven Cheung, who will serve as the communications director; longtime Trump investigation manager Tony Fabrizio; veteran GOP operative Chris LaCivita, who will be the group’s chief strategist; and Sergio Gor, whose conservative publishing outfit published Trump’s first post-presidential book last year (a collection of White House and campaign photos) and will serve as a senior adviser to MAGA, Inc.
With the November election fast approaching, Trump has been under pressure to dip into the mountain of cash raised by his leadership PAC, Save America and the Bondi-powered group to boost federal and non-federal candidates who picked up his support in their primaries, but are trailing or running too close for comfort against their Democratic opponents. The former president had more than $103 million in cash at the end of August, according to the most recent data available from the Federal Election Commission. People familiar with the matter said most of those funds will be transferred to MAGA, Inc., which is expected to begin spending immediately in key midterm races.
Federal records show that Trump’s main fundraising vehicle, Save America, has contributed more than $8.4 million to candidates and committees at the federal, state and local levels since January 2021 — a significant sum but practically nothing compared to what other major Republican groups have committed and only about $1.4 million more than what the former president has spent on legal fees this cycle (nearly $7 million). The pro-GOP Senate Leadership Fund is spending about $205 million on ads in Senate races this cycle, according to a CNN analysis, which includes what the group has already spent and its ad bookings over the next month. Meanwhile, the Congressional Leadership Fund, which is aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, plans to spend $141 million this fall on ads alone.
Trump’s aides have long insisted that his expenses are supplemented by the campaign rallies and fundraisers he has held to benefit various Republicans, along with his coveted endorsements that helped many of his chosen candidates prevail in contentious primaries earlier this year. But others say the lack of financial assistance from the former president should not be ruled out.
“Trump never went out of his way to help candidates — unless he sees a way it helps him. His camp says, ‘Well, he’s helping them by doing these events,’ which I would say are actually not that helpful because you never know if Trump is going to insult the candidate,” said Doug Heye, a GOP strategist and former communications director for the Republican National Committee.
After months of eyeing a pre-midterm launch date for a 2024 campaign, Trump is now waiting to see how Republicans fare in November — hoping to avoid blame if the party’s overall progress turns out to be disappointing.
“He’s been adamant that there’s no upside to doing it before the midterms and plenty of potential downside. Right now the target is the 1st quarter of next year, but of course once the election is over, he can really do it when whatever.” a Trump adviser said.