WASHINGTON ― Internet giant Salesforce.com accepted a $2.7 million payment from one of Donald Trump’s political committees the day after the former president incited a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol ― and a few days before Salesforce claimed it would not permit its services to be used “in any way that could lead to violence.”
Within days of that statement, the San Francisco-based company was distributing tens of millions of emails for the Republican National Committee that continued amplifying Trump’s lies about election fraud that led to the insurrection in the first place. And it is now servicing Trump’s “leadership” committee, even as he has ramped up his falsehoods about his reelection having been stolen from him.
An email sent Wednesday by Trump’s “Save America” committee ― whose funds Trump can legally use for almost any purpose he wants, including picking up his personal expenses or paying him a salary ― asked recipients: “Do you agree President Trump is the only leader who can Save America?”
It was sent through Salesforce servers, as were many hundreds of emails sent prior to Jan. 6 that spread Trump’s lies about the election, and dozens more after Jan. 6 by Trump and the RNC that continued with that theme.
Salesforce did not respond to HuffPost’s queries. Neither did representatives for Trump and the RNC.
The company collected $2.65 million on Jan. 7 from the Trump Make America Great Again Committee for “email services,” according to its recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, less than 24 hours after Trump’s last-ditch attempt to overthrow democracy.
On Jan. 11, Salesforce claimed it had “taken action” to head off the sort of violence that Trump had incited in part by using its company’s hardware and software.
“We are all deeply troubled by the terrible events of January 6. And while we all hope that they are never repeated, sadly there remains a risk of politically incited violence across the country,” Salesforce said in a statement. “The Republican National Committee has been a long-standing customer, predating the current Administration, and we have taken action to prevent its use of our services in any way that could lead to violence.”
Yet within days, the RNC resumed using Salesforce to send out fundraising emails with messaging that built on Trump’s lies about election fraud and downplayed the Jan. 6 attack.
On Feb. 8, for example, the RNC, using Salesforce servers, contacted its tens of millions of email subscribers. “This impeachment SCAM is completely UNCONSTITUTIONAL,” it said of the Senate trial for Trump’s incitement of the insurrection. “We want to raise 1 MILLION DOLLARS in the NEXT 24 HOURS and put an END to this impeachment HOAX.”
On April 3, the RNC sent out an email claiming: “If MILLIONS of Patriots do not take a stand for Election Integrity TODAY, we may not be able to stop the Radical Left from undermining our Constitutional Right to FREE and FAIR Elections.”
Two days later, the RNC wrote: “They’re trying to HALT conservatives in Georgia from securing future elections with common-sense voter ID laws. This could lead to MASSIVE FRAUD!” The second sentence was in bright red capital letters.
The details of the contract between Salesforce, a 56,000-employee, $230 billion company, and Trump and the RNC are not publicly available. However, one official close to the RNC said the Jan. 7 payment was in advance of an expected 10 billion fundraising emails in the coming year.
Trump Make America Great Again Committee, which paid Salesforce, is a joint fundraising venture between Save America and the RNC. On Jan. 7, it was essentially under Trump’s control, as head of his party, with 75% of every dollar raised going to Save America and 25% to the RNC. While the committee and the agreement still exist, an RNC official told HuffPost recently that it is in the “wind-down phase” and that the RNC is no longer soliciting money for it.
Trump spent weeks attacking the legitimacy of the Nov. 3 election he lost, starting his lies in the predawn hours of Nov. 4 that he had really won in a “landslide” and that victory was being “stolen” from him. He maintained those falsehoods through a long string of failed lawsuits challenging the results in a handful of states.
After the Electoral College finally voted on Dec. 14, making Joe Biden’s win official, Trump began urging his followers to come to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6 to intimidate his own vice president and members of Congress into overturning the election results and installing Trump as president for another term.
The mob of supporters he incited attempted to do just that by storming the Capitol. They even chanted “Hang Mike Pence” after Pence, Trump’s vice president, refused to comply with Trump’s demands.
Four police officers who responded to the insurrection have since died by suicide. One of the rioters was fatally shot as she climbed through a broken window into an anteroom containing still-evacuating House members, and three others in the crowd died during the melee.
Trump and his allies are now engaged in a campaign to portray the woman who was shot, Ashli Babbitt, as a martyr, and depict the hundreds of others who have been arrested as victims of political persecution.
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