As he brags that he is turning down millions of dollars for his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has leveled a steady line of attack against his rivals: that they are too cozy with big-money super PACs and may be breaking the law by coordinating with them.
“You know the nice part about me?” he told reporters in Iowa in August. “I don’t need anybody’s money.”
What Trump doesn’t say is that he and his top campaign aide have connections to a super PAC collecting large checks to support his candidacy — a group viewed by people familiar with his campaign as the sanctioned outlet for wealthy donors.
This summer, Trump appeared at at least two events for the Make America Great Again PAC, which took his campaign slogan as its name and received financing from his daughter’s mother-in-law. A consultant for the super PAC is a Republican operative who has previously worked with Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, according to several people with direct knowledge of their ties.
The Trump campaign’s links to the low-profile group could undercut the candidate’s posture as the only Republican in the race who has not sought to curry favor with wealthy donors, a central part of his anti-establishment message.