Real estate mogul Donald Trump on Friday announced that he asked super PACs supporting his presidential bid to return all the funds they’ve raised—and challenged all other presidential candidates to demand the same.
The announcement came less than a day after an operative with the Make America Great Again PAC, Tom Ciletti, told Politico that he was ending the PAC’s operations. The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, had threatened to sue the newspaper if it reported that Trump had given his blessing to Ciletti’s PAC, which had ties to his presidential campaign.
“I am self-funding my campaign and therefore I will not be controlled by the donors, special interests and lobbyists who have corrupted our politics and politicians for far too long,” Trump said in a statement on Friday. “I have disavowed all Super PAC’s, requested the return of all donations made to said PAC’s, and I am calling on all Presidential candidates to do the same. The character of our country is only as strong as our leaders—the only special interest I am beholden to is the American people and together we will Make America Great Again!”
Trump’s campaign said that its legal counsel sent letters Wednesday to nine super PACs. The letters disavowed the PACs’ fundraising efforts and demanded all money raised to support the candidate be refunded. The campaign argued the super PACs could confuse people who want to support the billionaire’s presidential bid.
The campaign also pointed out that more than 75,000 small donors have contributed an average of $50 each to his campaign so far.