Pro-Donald Trump super PACs do exist despite the Republican presidential frontrunner’s public disdain for them.
But none actually are sanctioned by Trump, according to campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who The Washington Post reported Sunday had threatened to sue the newspaper if it said that the real estate mogul gave his blessing to a super PAC that has ties to his campaign.
Trump has publicly eschewed super PACs and big-money donors since he launched his campaign, which he says is largely self-funded, in June. The billionaire frequently attacks his presidential rivals as being beholden to their wealthy benefactors while reminding voters that his massive personal wealth makes him independent of special interests.
But The Washington Post reported that Trump’s campaign has close ties to the Make America Great Again PAC, which employs a Colorado-based Republican consultant who previously worked with Lewandowski. Anonymous sources told The Post that Mike Cilletti had been a vendor for Americans for Prosperity, the outside conservative group, when Lewandowski worked there prior to joining Trump’s campaign.
Lewandowski initially denied to The Post that he knew Ciletti. The campaign manager later admitted that he knew of Ciletti after the newspaper asked him about payments the Trump campaign made to Ciletti’s printing and marketing shop, WizBang Solutions.
Lewandowski hung up when pressed for more details about his relationship to Ciletti, according to the report. Ciletti did not respond to The Post’s request for comment.
Trump also has appeared at two events for the Make America Great Again PAC, including a “meet-and-greet” at the Jersey Shore estate of Charles and Seryl Kushner, his daughter Ivanka’s in-laws, according to the report. A Kushner family spokesman told the newspaper that Seryl Kushner made a $100,000 donation to the super PAC that Trump did not solicit.