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Trump pushes back on NYT story on campaign refunds

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Illinois House passes bill that would mandate Asian-American history lessons in schools Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he MORE on Monday pushed back against a story published by The New York Times detailing questionable fundraising practices by his presidential campaign, accusing the newspaper of seeking to “disparage” his campaign’s grassroots financial support.

“In yet another highly partisan story, the failing New York Times wrote a completely misleading, one-sided attack piece this weekend that tried to disparage our record-setting grassroots fundraising operation during the 2020 campaign,” Trump said in a statement through his leadership political action committee (PAC) Save America. 

“Except for massive voter fraud, this was a campaign that was easily won by your favorite Republican President, me!” he added, repeating the false claim that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him through widespread fraud. 

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Trump’s comments come on the heels of a story published by The Times on Saturday highlighting how the Trump campaign had issued tens of millions of dollars in refunds to donors in the final months of 2020, a number that far exceeded the $5.6 million refunded by President BidenJoe BidenBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Olympics, climate on the agenda for Biden meeting with Japanese PM Boehner on Afghanistan: 'It's time to pull out the troops' MORE’s campaign. 

The unusual number of refunds was reportedly driven in part by online donors who in some cases had unwittingly agreed to weekly recurring payments to Trump’s political operation. 

At issue was a fine-print disclaimer in campaign communications that guided online donors to give weekly or double their contribution size. 

In his statement on Monday, Trump claimed that his “support in 2020 was so big” that The Times felt compelled to “defend” Democrats by calling the former president’s fundraising practices into question.

He said that his campaign’s fundraising success was due to voter enthusiasm and the fact that his supporters were motivated to donate repeatedly to his campaign. He did appear to acknowledge, however, that his campaign had issued refunds to donors who “would give too much.”

“Before our two campaigns, 2016 and 2020, Republicans would always lose small dollar donations,” he said. “Now we win, or do very well, because we are the Party of Working Americans, and we beat the Democrats at their own game.”

“We learned from liberal ActBlue – and now we’re better than they are!  In fact, many people were so enthusiastic that they gave over and over, and in certain cases where they would give too much, we would promptly refund their contributions,” Trump continued, referencing the Democratic online fundraising clearinghouse ActBlue. “Our overall dispute rate was less than 1% of total online donations, a very low number.”