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Trump campaign distances itself from new 'Patriot party'

Helen Sullivan
·2-min read
<span>Photograph: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump’s campaign has sought to distance him from efforts to create a “Patriot party”, an idea the former president has reportedly toyed with since his election defeat.

On Monday, the former president’s campaign committee, Donald J Trump for President (DJTFP), disavowed claims by a new political action committee (PAC) called the Patriot party, that the two were part of a joint fundraising campaign. It coincided with Trump setting up the “Office of the Former President”, in Florida.

DJTFP said it made the statement to the Federal Election Commission “out of concern for confusion among the public, which may be misled to believe that Patriot party’s activities have been authorised by Mr Trump or DJTFP – or that contributions to this unauthorised committee are being made to DJTFP – when that is not true”.

Related: Trump plots revenge as Democrats push on with second impeachment trial

Trump had hinted in the days following Biden’s inauguration that he was considering forming his own party, which analysts speculated he might be doing to discourage senators from voting to convict him in the upcoming impeachment trial. If Trump is convicted, it could render him unableto run for office again.

Related: Will Trump start his own political party? | Lloyd Green

On Sunday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said sources “familiar with his thinking” indicated Trump was reconsidering starting a new party, after it was “gently pointed out to him” that “threatening a third party while simultaneously threatening primaries makes no sense”.

The claim that the Patriot party and Trump campaign were fundraising together appeared in a filing by Michael Joseph Gaul of Georgia to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on 22 January.

Trump spokesperson Jason Miller told Axios: “We are not supportive of this effort, have nothing to do with it and only know about it through public reporting,” Miller said in a text message.

Axios reported that a group called the “MAGA Patriot Party National Committee” has also falsely claimed to have a similar agreement with the Trump campaign.

On Monday Trump opened an office in Florida that will handle his duties as a former US president and, according to a statement by the office, seek to further his administration’s agenda.

“The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organising, and public activism,” the statement said.

In farewell remarks on his last day as president last Wednesday, Trump told supporters: “We will be back in some form.” He has made no public appearances since flying that day to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.