During his "Reality Check" segment on CNN on Tuesday morning, CNN's John Avlon pointed out the humiliating fact that GOP lawmakers continue to suck up to former president Donald Trump as he rakes in cash that is supposed to be used to support their campaigns -- but is being used for his personal needs instead.
With legal analysts questioning how Trump is using the money raised by his PACs, Avlon noted the one-way relationship the former president has with members of his party.
"America's battling against the virus continues, not just the delta variant, but the virus of lies that continues to course through our country. from attempts to deflect blame from the January 6th attack to almost daily disinformation about the covid vaccine," Avlon began. "But if you're looking for a reason why the lies are so contagious among Republican elites, don't look for logic, follow the money."
"Ex-president Donald Trump has built up a war chest of more than $100 million and with all things Trump, it's not quite what it seems," he continued. "I'm not talking about how he inflated his totals for the first half of the year, I'm talking about how it's evidence of the grift that goes on even as Trump cows Republicans to staying in an abusive relationship because, for all the fundraising over nonexistent mass voter fraud, Trump has spent no money on the fruitless fraud that continues to keep the big lie alive in the heart of his hard-core supporters."
"They asked to give money so he could contest the election results, and spent the contributions to pay off unrelated debts," Avlon reported. "He's not going to waste his money on what [Republican chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors] Jack Sellers called an adventure in 'never-never land.' He wants his small-dollar and dark money minions to do that while he fights for the umpteenth time, and PACs are generally supposed to support like-minded candidates."
"Trump's special election endorsements didn't see a dime from him for weeks after his endorsement," he continued. "Too late to save Susan Wright in a special Texas election, even with insanely coercive appeals, that if they uncheck a re-occurring donation box, we will have to tell Trump 'you're a defector.' "
"It's not like he's winning converts with his seditious lies, the GOP is caught in a trap," he explained. "They can't win primaries without him, and can't win general elections with him. He's really unpopular with the American people. Get this: in a mid-July ACRP poll Trump had a 76% approval rating with Republicans, and 37% with Americans. 21% of Americans have a very positive view of Trump, while another 11% said they had a somewhat positive view."
"Trump's money haul succeeds in freezing the field and keeping all the attention on him and his talk about a possible 2024 run, so other ambitious GOP candidates have seemed to have retreated to a strategy of sucking up to Trump in the hopes that if he doesn't run, he'll benefit from his endorsement," he added. "This is lunacy... loyalty with Donald Trump is a one-way street."
"Most of Trump's failings can be explained by a simple truth: he cares more about himself than the country," he concluded.
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