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Trump slams Democrat fundraising platform ActBlue over untraceable ‘unemployed’ donors

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President Trump on Saturday alleged wrongdoing after a conservative group claimed a major online platform used to raise money for Democratic candidates and causes solicited funds from a large pool of untraceable donors who claim to be unemployed.

The Take Back Action Fund says it has analyzed computer data that shows almost half of all donations made to ActBlue in 2019 totaling some $346million were done by people claiming to be unemployed, according to Fox News.

‘After downloading hundreds of millions of [dollars in] donations to the Take Back Action Fund servers, we were shocked to see that almost half of the donations to ActBlue in 2019 claimed to be unemployed individuals,’ Action Fund President John Pudner said.

‘The name of employers must be disclosed when making political donations, but more than 4.7 million donations came from people who claimed they did not have an employer.

President Trump (left) on Saturday alleged wrongdoing after a conservative group claimed a major online platform used to raise money for Democratic candidates and causes solicited funds from a large pool of untraceable donors who claim to be unemployed. Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, is seen right

The Take Back Action Fund says it has analyzed computer data that shows almost half of all donations made to ActBlue in 2019 totaling some $346million were done by people claiming to be unemployed

President Trump tweeted: ‘Fake Liberal Democrat Donors. Money laundering anyone?’

‘Those 4.7 million donations totaled $346 million ActBlue raised and sent to liberal causes.’

Data from January through August of this year shows a similar trend, according to Take Back Action Fund, which says that there was an increase in ‘unemployed’ donations made through ActBlue.

A slight majority – 50.1 per cent – of donations made through ActBlue this year totaling $175million have come from 1.8 million people who say they are unemployed.

Last year, 48.4 per cent of ActBlue donations were made by those who said they were unemployed.

By comparison, 4.9 million donations were made through WinRed, the Republican small-donation platform, last year totaling $302million.

Of those, just 4 per cent came from people who did not list an employer or who were unemployed, according to Take Back Action Fund.

ActBlue says that many of its donations come from retirees, homemakers, and others who categorize themselves as unemployed.

Pudner claims that the large number of donors who say they are jobless suggests that these contributions are from foreign interests seeking to interfere in the elections.

‘It is hard to believe that at a time when the US unemployment rate was less than 4 percent, that unemployed people had $346million dollars to send to ActBlue for liberal causes,’ Pudner said.

He believes that ‘4.7 million donations from people without a job … raised serious concerns.’

ActBlue is a nonprofit that was launched in 2004 by a physicist and a computer scientist. It has been credited with helping Democratic candidates fund their campaigns through billions of dollars in small donations.

The Republican Party recently unveiled its rival platform, WinRed, in hopes of building its own army of small-money donors.

ActBlue says that many of its donations come from retirees, homemakers, and others who categorize themselves as unemployed

ActBlue’s website says it serves as a ‘conduit’ for individual contributions by processing and sending ‘grassroots donations to the campaigns and organizations that use our fundraising platform.’

According to ActBlue, any candidate or organization can create a contribution form on its platform.

Supporters of the candidate or organization are then asked to make a contribution on the form.

After the donation is made, it is processed and sent to the candidate or organization.

ActBlue says it ‘reports the contribution to the relevant reporting body’ – which could be the FEC, IRS, or secretary of state.

‘As required by federal law, we itemize (that means list the donor name and information for) every single federal donation that comes through our platform to the Federal Election Commission, including donations under $200,’ according to the website.

ActBlue refers visitors to the Federal Election Commission’s website where ‘itemized individual contributions’ are listed.

Take Back Action Fund, however, says that donations made through the ActBlue platform by credit card are not verified, so anyone from abroad could contribute.

‘ActBlue’s insistence on refusing to allow banks to verify their donations is an invitation to foreign programmers or others to send money through them using fake American names, and we encourage them to start letting banks verify the identity of donors to stop the potential for millions of dollars to influence our election,’ Pudner said. 

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, says ActBlue’s large pool of unemployed donors is suspicious

‘Wow – this sounds fishy as hell. Nearly 50% of liberal donors using ActBlue were untraceable and listed as unemployed (with a 4% national unemployment rate),’ Graham tweeted

‘Compared to WinRed, only 4% of conservative donors were listed as unemployed,’ the senator tweeted. ‘I don’t believe Democrats are 12 times more likely to be unemployed than Republicans.’

‘I urge the Federal Election Commission and others to investigate this situation,’ Graham tweeted. Is money being laundered through ActBlue from straw donors or foreign governments to Democratic candidates, or is this legit? Somebody needs to find out ASAP.’

ActBlue, however, denies this.

A spokesperson for ActBlue told Fox News that ‘it is best security practice to refrain from publicly sharing any detailed information about how we analyze contributions.’

‘But we use an array of data sources, internal validation and third-party services to verify the validity of transactions.

‘We take the security of our platform and integrity of donations very seriously,’ the spokesperson said.

‘We report every contribution to federal candidates that comes through our platform, and you can look those up on the FEC.

‘We report the information donors enter about their occupation and employer, and we do see a significant portion of donors who report their status as not employed, such as retired donors or full-time parents.’

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, tweeted on Saturday: ‘Wow – this sounds fishy as hell. Nearly 50% of liberal donors using ActBlue were untraceable and listed as unemployed (with a 4% national unemployment rate).

‘Compared to WinRed, only 4% of conservative donors were listed as unemployed.

‘I don’t believe Democrats are 12 times more likely to be unemployed than Republicans.’

‘I urge the Federal Election Commission and others to investigate this situation,’ Graham tweeted. Is money being laundered through ActBlue from straw donors or foreign governments to Democratic candidates, or is this legit? Somebody needs to find out ASAP.’ 

President Trump reacted to Graham’s post, tweeting: ‘Fake Liberal Democrat Donors. Money laundering anyone?’ 

Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign officially smashed American political fundraising records, raising $364.5 million in one month. 

The Biden campaign put out the August total after The New York Times reported earlier this month that the former vice president and the Democratic Party raised more than $300 million and then Bloomberg reported the total topped $350 million. 

President Barack Obama held the record for the best one-month haul, raising $193 million in September 2008. 

The Biden campaign said that $205 million raised in August, amounting to 57 per cent, came from online, small-dollar donations. 

Additionally, 1.5 million donors in August were first-time givers. 

The campaign reported that their donor base amounts to more than 4 million Americans.  

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