Pro-Trump group files unusual financial report

Pro-Trump group files unusual financial report
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One of the top super-PACs supporting Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone MORE has submitted a highly unusual report to the Federal Election Commission, claiming the vast majority of its income last month came from donors giving less than $200.

Super-PACs are outside groups that can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money. They are typically set up to haul in checks of tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, and in some cases millions, from wealthy donors. 

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But in the case of Great America PAC, which is one of two main outside groups supporting Trump, the money appears to be coming from small-dollar donors who typically fund campaigns directly rather than giving to super-PACs.

Great America PAC raised $513,606 in April, but 81 percent of that money came from "unitemized" donations. That's the FEC's jargon for donors that give less than $200. The identities of these small-dollar donors can be kept hidden. 

It's unprecedented for a top-flight presidential super-PAC to be taking the vast majority of its money from donors giving small amounts.

The proportion of the group's income coming from small donations has jumped since it was established in early February. In its February FEC filings, Great America PAC reported that it raised $73,753, 22 percent from under-$200 donations. Last month, it raised $479,226, with 24 percent coming from small donations. 

The unusually large amount of small donations could trigger a letter to the super-PAC from the commission based on its review policy

Another atypical aspect of Great America PAC's April fundraising was that the largest individual donation for the month came from someone who works on the super-PAC's staff. 

Great America PAC's lead fundraiser, California Republican operative Eric Beach, made a personal loan to the super-PAC of $50,000, according to the FEC report. But given it's a loan, this is money Beach can recoup down the track. 

Besides Beach’s donation, the largest amount given to the group in April was just $2,000 – a miniscule amount for a super-PAC that is branding itself as a top-tier group supporting Trump.

Great America PAC, which is also led by former Ronald Reagan aide Ed Rollins, finished April with just $65,236 cash on hand. The super-PAC also reported debts of $300,000.

The pro-Trump group has likely improved its cash position since then, as at least one major donor, Minnesota billionaire Stanley Hubbard, has signed on to the group's advisory committee.

Hubbard told The Hill earlier this week that he'd sent a "six-figure" check to Great America PAC, despite having previously donated to a group dedicated to stopping Trump from becoming the Republican nominee.

"Trump is a work in progress," Hubbard said.