For the past four years since Donald Trump first announced his candidacy, everyone has wondered what exactly he would have to do to lose the “fiscal conservative,” evangelical GOP vote. Raising the federal deficit to its highest level in history thanks to tax cuts for the wealthy didn’t get that accomplished despite eight years of explosive outrage from the GOP-backed Tea Party. Revelations about grabbing women “by the p*ssy” and cheating on his wife in the days after the birth of their son with a well-known adult film star and Playboy model didn’t do it, either, even if the GOP does claim to be the party of Christianity and family values.
The Mercers have bailed on Trump. My latest:https://t.co/cHWinWPOCX
— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) June 18, 2019
A new development, however, will truly test how loyal the Republican Party is to their current leader. The Mercer family, the largest donors to the GOP in 2016, are running scared from their association with President Trump after they found out that lying down with dogs gives one fleas, and that the fleas they already had accumulated long before they considered Trump a viable candidate for the presidency would be exposed.
The Week reports that:
‘The reclusive Mercer family was one of President Trump’s biggest and most influential backers in 2016, pouring at least $15.5 million into different organizations working to elect Trump, pumping another $10 million into Trump-friendly media company Breitbart News, and investing millions more into Cambridge Analytica, the now-disbanded Facebook-mining data firm Robert Mercer cofounded in 2013. Their influence was so great with Trump they installed Steven Bannon and Kellyanne Conway to run his campaign in its final months, Rebekah Mercer was a senior member of Trump’s presidential transition team, and the family donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration fund.’
Trump has reportedly lost one of his biggest 2016 financial backers: ?? Mercers. https://t.co/EdQvBsjucA
— Laffy (@GottaLaff) June 18, 2019
Instead of funnelling millions of dollars into the GOP in this political campaign, the Mercers are keeping a low profile, and keeping their money to themselves, as well, thanks to the exposure they’ve gotten from supporting Trump. Additionally, they appear to be unhappy with Trump’s performance, as well as being unhappy by the American people’s judgment of Trump’s performance.
‘In fact, the Mercers have drastically cut back their political spending in recent months and don’t plan on playing a significant role in 2020, Sherman reports, citing half a dozen sources. The reported reasons include disagreement with Trump’s job performance and fallout from their support of Trump and Bannon — their cherished privacy was eroded, Robert Mercer was pushed out as co-CEO of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies in November 2017, they were “spooked” by the FBI’s investigation of Cambridge Analytica, and generally, “they’ve been destroyed,” a former West Wing official told Vanity Fair.’
Trump may give the GOP judicial appointments, tax cuts, and backing on anti-abortion laws, but costing them millions may be a step too far. Then again, everyone believed that corruption and disgusting antics might do Trump in with the conservative GOP, so they may still be willing to go down with the ship named Trump. In any case, the Mercers are done with the president and, by extension, they’re done with donating to the GOP.
‘Plus, the Mercers essentially got what they wanted out of Trump’s victory, and it wasn’t necessarily President Trump. “They never really liked Trump,” a source close to the Mercers told Sherman. They were supporters of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and they only came around to Trump when he was the last option against Hillary Clinton. “Trump was just Bob’s play against Hillary,” a former Renaissance executive told Sherman. “Bob said she and her husband were murderers who would destroy the country. He thought she was an evil person and a socialist.” The Mercers did not respond to Vanity Fair‘s request for comment.’
Featured image via Flickr by Gage Skidmore under a Creative Commons license