Maggie Haberman at The New York Times reports that Donald Trump is “backing” the new political group America Alliance, a competitor to the Democrat Party’s Democracy Alliance. Trump is not just backing the group, though. “Backing” is what Trump does when he endorses a candidate or organization, not when he’s pulling the strings.
Trump has asked Michael Glassner to be the group’s CEO. Glassner previously worked as the COO of Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. As CEO of America Alliance, Glassner will lead efforts to direct Republican fundraising to candidates and organizations chosen by the group and possibly organize “grassroots” fundraising efforts.
By definition, there is nothing “grassroots” about large political organizations connected to a former president of the United States. Grassroots efforts start at a local level. Political groups like the Council for National Policy use propaganda and social media to organize local events, which the media reports as “grassroots” movements because they don’t know the true source of the events. This is what happened with anti-lockdown protests and Stop The Steal events.
The idea for America Alliance was concocted by Caroline Wren, who will serve as a senior adviser to Glassner. Wren is a Trump fundraiser who — along with her firm Bluebonnet Fundraising — has received almost $900,000 from the Trump Campaign, the RNC, and Trump Victory since 2017. Wren was the event planner primarily responsible for Trump’s “March to Save America” on January 6. Haberman’s reporting doesn’t mention those connections.
The biggest difference between this and Trump’s public endorsements is that donors to America Alliance will be asked to pay annual dues to the company and commit to giving $100,000 to entities the group recommends. Those entities are expected to be candidates working with Trump and his allies and companies created exclusively by Trump allies.
Doesn’t this sound like Trump and his team asking donors to pay him to support the candidates he endorses? If not, then will the group act as a pay-to-play operation within the Trump chambers of the Republican Party? “Sorry, Jim. You haven’t donated to America Alliance, so President Trump won’t meet with you.” At the very least, the group is designed to direct funds to Trump allies’ own organizations.
As with his re-election fundraising scheme and his post-election legal defense fund, Trump is marketing this as another avenue for Republicans to retain power.
Mr. Trump said in a statement to The Times that the group — as well has his own candidate committees and the party committees — was a way to gain traction against Democrats.
“For years Republicans have been at a fundraising disadvantage, but now thanks to Save America, Make America Great Again PAC, America Alliance, our fine party committees and all of our other supporting groups we’re going to beat the Democrats at their own game,” Mr. Trump said.Maggie Haberman, The New York Times
You might have noticed that Trump File is skeptical of Haberman’s use of “backing” and her failure to mention the more controversial details of Caroline Wren’s relationship with Team Trump. We advise you to be skeptical of her reporting on Trump, too.
Maggie Haberman is a longtime friend of and unofficial consultant for the Trump family and Roger Stone. She has been accused by people close to Jared Kushner of letting Kushner feed her White House stories during the Trump presidency. Others have pointed out that she is often hesitant about writing that Donald Trump is a liar.
Haberman’s mother was an official PR consultant for Donald Trump at Rubenstein Associates, a firm whose clients have included Jared and Charles Kushner, Rupert Murdoch, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell’s father Robert Maxwell, Rudy Giuliani, and Adnan Khashoggi.
In Haberman’s defense, she has demonstrated that her alliance to Donald Trump can be shaken… especially if it’s to defend Roger Stone.
ProPublica – Caroline Wren (Archived)
Rubenstein Clients: Trump & Murdoch
Rubenstein Clients: Jared & Charles Kushner
Rubenstein Clients: Maxwell, Khashoggi, Giuliani
Rubenstein Clients: Jeffrey Epstein
Photo: Gage Skidmore