Lofgren spoke after the committee’s hearing on Monday highlighted $250 million raised by the Save America PAC and the Trump campaign. But those entities did not pay Guilfoyle’s fee, the people familiar with the payment told CNN. The payment came from Turning Point Action, an affiliate of Turning Point USA, the youth organization started by Charlie Kirk, who is a close friend of Trump Jr.
A third source familiar with testimony by Fancelli before the select committee told CNN that Lofgren’s description of the donor fits Fancelli’s situation as a major donor to Turning Point Action. The congresswoman told CNN that “the major donor to that was a woman who took the Fifth Amendment when she was interviewed by us who specifically excluded speaker’s fees from her donation.”
Fancelli gave about $1 million to the group, and a proposal soliciting her donation said the money would go to busing students and social media influencers to the rally, and to video and other media production, the person familiar with her testimony said.
On Tuesday, Lofgren defended her previous comments about Guilfoyle’s fee during an interview with Wolf Blitzer, saying she didn’t think she had mischaracterized the payment since it came from part of the network connected to Trump.
“The question is, are Trump individuals benefiting from this whole enterprise of raising money around the so-called ‘Stop the Steal,’ ” Lofgren told Blitzer. “And the answer is yes.”
The committee declined to comment when asked whether Fancelli’s donation was the source of money used to pay Guilfoyle’s speaking fee. Neither Guilfoyle nor her attorney responded to requests for comment. Turning Point declined to comment.
Lofgren appeared on CNN soon after that presentation and disclosed the payment to Guilfoyle as an example of “grift.” Tapper asked whether the committee has found “evidence that Trump and his family ‘personally benefited’ from donations.”
“For example, we know that Guilfoyle was paid for the introduction she gave at the speech on January 6. She received compensation for that,” Lofgren said. “I’m not saying it’s a crime, but I’m saying it’s grift.”
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson was asked by CNN late Monday to clarify if Guilfoyle had been paid with “Stop the Steal” funds.
“I did not say that,” Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, told CNN, adding: “It was strictly paid out of expenditures that came from people who came to the Stop the Steal rally.”
Thompson noted that the payment was still something that the public, including Trump supporters, was not aware of at the time of the speech.
“First of all, we think the majority of the public would be concerned that if the girlfriend of Donald Trump (Jr.) made $60,000 for a few minutes speech, that they had no idea. She had to get paid to speak at something everybody else was coming to because they thought it was the right thing to do,” he said.
CNN’s Katelyn Polantz contributed to this report.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correct the name of the organization that paid Guilfoyle for her January 6, 2021, speech, and with further reporting Tuesday.
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