(CNN)These two paragraphs from The Washington Post are both unsurprising and deeply troubling:

“Former president Donald Trump’s political PAC raised about $75 million in the first half of this year as he trumpeted the false notion that the 2020 election was stolen from him, but the group has not devoted funds to help finance the ongoing ballot review in Arizona or to push for similar endeavors in other states, according to people familiar with the finances.”Instead, the Save America leadership PAC — which has few limits on how it can spend its money — has paid for some of the former president’s travel, legal costs and staff, along with other expenses, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the group’s inner workings. The PAC has held onto much of its cash.”Add yet another proof point to this reality about Donald Trump and those around him: This is — and always has been — a grift. Trump realized early on in his time as a candidate that he could separate people from their money by promising them the world. And that, except in rare instances, he could then do as he pleased with what he had raised because the people didn’t penalize him for not making good on his promises.The formation and execution of Trump’s Save America PAC is a perfect illustration of the basic Trump grift. Read MoreIt was initially formed — in the immediate wake of Trump’s 2020 loss — to ostensibly raise money to finance various election challenges around the country. Within days of the formation of the PAC, Trump’s team has sent upwards of 100 email solicitations for it — the vast majority focused on the made-up idea that he had been cheated out of the victory. One, sent in mid November, called on “every single Patriot … to help DEFEND the integrity” of the election.


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The PAC rapidly raised tens of millions of dollars. But, instead of spending some of that money on costly recount efforts in places like Arizona and Michigan, Trump has instead chose to use it for his own travel around the country as well as stockpile the vast majority of the funds as a way to retain his political power in the 2022 midterm election and, eventually, the 2024 presidential race.As the Post’s Josh Dawsey and Rosalind Helderman write:”Even as he assiduously tracks attempts by his allies to cast doubt on the integrity of last year’s election, Trump has been uninterested in personally bankrolling the efforts, relying on other entities and supporters to fund the endeavors, [the sources] said.”All of which raises one obvious question: If Trump truly believes that a) the election was stolen and b) evidence of that fact could come to light in these various attempted recounts around the country, then why would he not be willing to put his money where his mouth is? If the proof that he requires to be reinstated is somewhere out in America, wouldn’t he spend every penny he had — or, more accurately, every penny that has been donated to him post-election — to uncover it?Unless — and stick with me here — Trump knows the election fraud is itself a fraud, one he is perpetrating to drag down President Joe Biden while keeping his own chances of running and winning again high.Of course, someone who would take advantage of people — and put the very pillars of democracy in danger — solely for his personal gain wouldn’t be much of a leader, and certainly not presidential material.

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