- The Washington Times - Friday, May 13, 2016

Allies of presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump announced this week the formation of a new pro-Trump super PAC with a goal of raising $20 million before the Republican convention in July.

Republican strategist Doug Watts, who most recently served as a spokesman for retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s unsuccessful 2016 presidential bid, will serve as national executive director and spokesman of the group, which is called the Committee for American Sovereignty.

Mr. Watts said in a news release that the committee will not take special interest PAC contributions, but that the group has already started to raise “significant funds” in California and from supporters across the country.

“We intend to raise significant funds from California supporters who, until now, have deferred to Mr. Trump’s wishes to self-fund his campaign,” said former state Sen. Tony Strickland, the group’s California chairman.

“We believe it is imperative that Mr. Trump’s message be communicated directly to voters and that we challenge head-on the vicious smears propagated by Priorities USA, Hillary Clinton’s attack-dog Super PAC,” Mr. Strickland said.

In a list of advisory committee members, the group included conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly, the founder of Eagle Forum, and Nicholas Ribis Sr., a former top executive within Mr. Trump’s hotel empire, among others.

Another outside group, Great America PAC, has also formed recently with the aim of boosting Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

Mr. Trump has frequently touted the self-funded nature of his GOP presidential primary campaign. But last week, he announced Steven Mnuchin as his campaign’s national finance chairman as he starts looking forward to the general election.

“He’s raising money for the party. He’s raising money for the Republican National Committee,” Mr. Trump said in a recent interview on Fox News.

“I’m going to be spending a lot of my own money,” Mr. Trump said, though he didn’t set a target for himself.

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