The Establishment plans an assault on @realDonaldTrump - I plan a counterattack https://t.co/XZBOx4JRJt #yuge— Roger Stone (@RogerJStoneJr) December 18, 2015
Republican operative Roger Stone, who says he is no longer working for Donald Trump but continues to back his presidential campaign, is launching a super PAC to attack leading rivals, particularly Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Mr. Stone said he has not talked to Mr. Trump or his campaign about the Committee to Restore America’s Greatness. Mr. Trump has been an outspoken critic of super PACs and frequently claims to be self-funding his campaign, though he has received and spent millions of dollars in donations.
Mr. Stone said the new group will not accept money from corporations, lobbyists or special interest but will be funded by “small contributions from average people.” The purpose, he said, is not to advertise on Mr. Trump’s behalf but to “educate voters on the records of Rubio and potentially Chris Christie since they are on the move in New Hampshire,” where Mr. Trump is leading the polls...
Mr. Stone said he didn’t recall the last time he spoke to Mr. Trump but said it was “not recently.” He said he has had no formal or informal role in the campaign since August. “I am well aware of restrictions on coordination—and there is and has been none,” he said.
Mr. Trump’s campaign paid Mr. Stone’s firm, Drake Ventures, $20,000 earlier this year, according to Federal Election Commission filings, but Mr. Stone says they parted ways over the summer.
FEC records show Tom Fay of Laguna Beach filed the paperwork to start the Committee to Restore America’s Greatness in October.
According to AP:
Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski called the group "a big-league scam," and said Stone had not notified the campaign of his plans. "He's welcome to talk about what he wants, but he's in no way shape or form authorized by the campaign," Lewandowski said...
Lewandowski said that the Trump campaign was drafting a new letter protesting the group's fundraising as illegitimate.
But Stone said the committee would be different from the ones Trump dislikes because it won't be accepting corporate or "special interest" money.
"I don't expect large contributions from anybody. This will be funded by small donors who are opposed to Marco Rubio and the establishment Republican candidates," he said, referring to one of Trump's chief rivals.
Typically the campaigns — rather than super PACs — seek out these valuable small contributions because campaigns are limited to $2,700 per contributor, while super PACs have no such limits.
The first evidence of Stone's involvement in the PAC came Thursday in the form of a fundraising letter soliciting contributions distributed via an email list bought from the conservative website NewsMax.com.
"Dear Fellow American, If you think it's essential that the Republican Party nominate Donald J. Trump for President instead of Senator Marco Rubio, I urgently need your help," the letter begins.
The group's website says it was launched to stop attempts by "The Washington, DC insiders, special interests, lobbyists and a handful of self-interested billionaires... to destroy the candidacy of Donald Trump."
From the PAC Facebook page:
We're brand new on launching the online campaign. Please share with your friends and family - tell them to LIKE the page and if you can - donate. We DO NOT accept money from any corporations - this is grassroots fundraising. Please spread the word about us so that we can spread the word about Rubio and the establishment candidates and campaigns.