An investigation published by The New York Times over the weekend revealed that over the course of the 2020 election, the Trump campaign scammed unwitting supporters for tens of millions of dollars. It did so through an extremely simple yet wildly deceitful scheme in which the default option for donations authorized the campaign to transfer the pledged amount from people’s bank accounts not once but every single week.
The Trump operation issued more than $122 million in refunds in the 2020 cycle, which was 10.7 percent of what Mr. Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts raised. Refunds increased as the campaign began prechecking the boxes, which at one point withdrew donations every week as well as introduced a “money bomb” that doubled a contribution.
Yet apparently, Republicans associated with Donald Trump have not changed their tactics in light of the very bad press; they’ve upped the ante. By which we mean that in addition to continuing to use prechecked boxes to bilk supporters, they’re threatening to rat out anyone who doesn’t agree to recurring donations to the ex-president.
According to The Times, “the political arm of House Republicans is deploying a prechecked box to enroll donors into repeating monthly donations—and using ominous language to warn them of the consequences if they opt out: “If you UNCHECK this box, we will have to tell Trump you’re a DEFECTOR.”
The language appears to be an effort by the National Republican Congressional Committee to increase its volume of recurring donations, which are highly lucrative, while invoking former President Donald J. Trump’s popularity with the conservative base. Those donors who do not proactively uncheck the box will have their credit cards billed or bank accounts deducted for donations every month.
Here’s what the box looks like, in all its psychotic glory:
This is the NRCC’s homepage prechecked donation box right now.
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) April 7, 2021