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Trump uses Georgia Senate race to raise money for his own PAC

Early in-person voting in Georgia runoffs
Early in-person voting in Georgia runoffs 09:01

Washington — For Republicans fighting to maintain their hold on the Senate, the stakes for the party in Georgia could not be higher: "The Georgia Runoff Election is right around the corner and the fate of the Nation hangs in the balance," proclaimed an email from President Trump's joint fundraising venture with the Republican National Committee.

"Securing these two critical Senate seats is absolutely paramount. We need YOU to make sure we have the resources to WIN BIG," a fundraising email signed by Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and sent Tuesday pleads.

"President Trump and Vice President Pence are fighting because they know that this critical Senate Runoff Election is a choice between a Socialist Nightmare and the American Dream," another appeal from the Trump campaign sent Monday states. "YOUR support will POWER our movement all the way to TWO stunning Republican Senate victories."

But while the solicitations for the "Georgia Election Fund" purport to raise money to help GOP Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler win reelection, the fine print of the emails sent to Mr. Trump's supporters shows the majority of each donation will go to the president's own political action committee, Save America.

According to the allocation formula for donations detailed on the website linked to in the emails, 75% of each contribution, up to $5,000, will first go to Save America, then to the Trump campaign's "Recount Account," up to $2,800. The remaining 25% of each donation will be directed to the Republican National Committee's operating account, with any money left over going to the party's legal proceedings or headquarters accounts. 

The president launched Save America days after the November general election, and since Election Day, the fundraising apparatuses tied to Mr. Trump have collectively raked in more than $207.5 million in donations. A spokesperson for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Georgia fundraising emails.

Like with emails that claim to support Republicans' efforts in Georgia, solicitations from the Trump campaign that sought donations to support the president's legal battles challenging the election results show most of each contribution went to his leadership PAC or to pay off his campaign's debts.

Perdue and Loeffler are competing against Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, respectively, in two runoff elections slated for January 5. With Republicans currently heading into the next Congress with 50 seats in the Senate, the pair of races will determine which party controls the upper chamber. If Ossoff and Warnock unseat their Republican opponents, the Senate will be split 50-50, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will cast tie-breaking votes.

Next month's runoff elections in Georgia have brought Mr. Trump and President-elect Joe Biden back to the campaign trail for the first time since the general election. The president appeared at a rally in Valdosta, Georgia, earlier this month to boost support for Perdue and Loeffler, while Mr. Biden is traveling to Atlanta on Tuesday to campaign for Ossoff and Warnock.

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