Donald Trump shunned the super PAC Make America Great Again, so it shut down after six months in 2015 with $157,000 still its bank account. Then, in the middle of 2016, its first Federal Election Commission (FEC) report of the year showed it was around $3,500 in the hole. The $160,000 just disappeared.
Las Vegas casino mogul, Phil Ruffin, put about one million dollars in the super PAC in June 2015. The PAC’s biggest problem was the FEC’s scrutiny of its donors, including Jared Kushner’s mother.
Plus, Trump was running on not accepting money from major donors, so it looked bad to have executives giving money to the PAC. Not only that, a Trump campaign vendor was running it.
After a year in operation, Make America Great Again tried to end its registration with the FEC, but the commission said no way until the super PAC showed where all the money went. The PAC decided to alter its termination report. Somehow, it found it really did have around $154,000 cash on hand.
After that, the FEC reports from the PAC just stopped. It was not until January 2017 that the PAC filed a pre- and a post-general election report. At that time, it had less than $50,000 on hand. Between March and October 2016, the committee distributed around $110,000
Once again, the PAC left out all the details about what happened to the money, as required by the FEC. Nothing happened until this month. That was when the Make America Great Again super PAC tried to slip an amended 2016 quarterly FEC filing under the radar.
The amended form showed that the super PAC returned $50,000 to the Florida real-estate developer, Michael Dezertzov aka Michael Dezer on August 18, 2016. Apparently, this was a refund to a man who was a friend of Paul Manafort and who frequently:
‘(Worked with Trump on) high-profile real-estate projects, and made bank selling Trump condos to, among others, wealthy Russian buyers.’
The day after the refund, the president’s campaign chair at the time, Paul Manafort, resigned. The campaign was concerned about the man’s business affairs with “wealthy Russian” businessmen.
The PAC still has not accounted for about $60,000.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Mark Wilson.