Republican strategists and Trump advisers informed Insider that former President Donald Trump’s post-election political team has fired one of its top fundraisers who played a crucial part in arranging the January 6 “Save America Rally” that preceded Trump supporters’ attack on the US Capitol.
According to Trump advisers, the Trump-approved group America Alliance fired seasoned fundraiser Caroline Wren at the end of last month.
Other Trump fundraising groups allegedly issued Wren cease-and-desist letters asking that she not mention Trump in her efforts to recruit high-dollar donations.
Wren left America Alliance but was not fired, according to a Republican familiar with the split, and Trump aides did not issue her cease-and-desist letters from any of the many political groups claiming the Trump banner.
Wren sought to dominate Republican contributors, according to Trump advisers, and argued with other pro-Trump strategists.
Trump’s advisers were particularly alarmed by Wren’s aggressive entry on the Trump fundraising circuit during a series of events in late April, according to the strategist.
“She was moving in on their turf, so I’m not surprised to see they’re gunning at her now,” a strategist said.
“Caroline was terminated last month,” said one advisor who claimed he was familiar with the details. “She was causing a lot of chaos and not raising money” in the months after Trump lost the 2020 presidential election.
Other Republicans claim Wren got caught up in the turbulence of Trump’s tempestuous post-election political efforts as she tried to break away from Trump’s political alliances and form her own, yet-to-be-named network of conservative campaign contributors to fund Republican races across the country.
“She’s just a fundraiser that emerged out of nowhere after the election and was in the middle of everything,” the Republican strategist of the argument between Wren and Trumpworld.
Since Trump’s departure from office, a network of Trump-aligned organizations has emerged.
Two of them are under Trump’s direct control: his Save America leadership PAC and the Make America Great Again PAC, which sprang out of the ashes of his 2020 presidential campaign committee.
The first investigation into who has been supporting both groups in 2021 — both have openly solicited funds from supporters — will not take place until next month, when they must submit records with the Federal Election Commission (FEC.)
Then there’s Make America Great Again Action, a super PAC helmed by Trump’s former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and a slew of “social welfare” nonprofits soliciting funds to promote Trump’s “America first” policy platform.
Trump also gave his approval to longtime adviser Michael Glassner’s launch of the America Alliance, a new fundraising super PAC.
In April, Glassner hired Wren as a senior advisor for America Alliance.
According to a Republican consultant familiar with the behind-the-scenes battle to dominate fundraising for the former president, Glassner recruited Wren after contributors complained that he wasn’t following through on their demands.
During the 2008 and 2016 presidential elections, Wren acquired her expertise in fundraising for mainstream Republicans. She also worked on the re-election campaign of Senator Lindsey Graham in 2014. She rose to become a top fundraiser for Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020.
In the days leading up to January 6, Wren’s influence among Trump’s lieutenants was apparent. Wren was designated as a “VIP advisor” on a National Park Service permit for Trump’s “Save America Rally,” and she assisted with event preparations.
Cindy Chafian, a conservative activist who had been assisting with the event’s planning, claimed that Wren pushed her out in a last-minute attempt to persuade Trump to speak at the event, which he did.
Wren assisted in bringing together diverse pro-Trump factions to organize the demonstration. This includes assisting with the coordination of a $300,000 contribution allegedly directed by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, which covered more than half of the cost of the January 6 demonstration.
Wren earned $260,000 as a Trump campaign adviser last year, according to Insider, making her one of the highest-paid members of the campaign. She was also an associate and aide to Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend and a prominent Trump adviser.
Wren’s dismissal is symptomatic of a bigger power struggle among Trump’s ever-shifting group of advisers, operatives, and hangers-on as the former president ponders whether to run for president again in 2024.
Some Republicans have discreetly persuaded Trump to put his attention on helping Republicans retake control of the US House of Representatives, and maybe the US Senate, in 2022, rather than rehashing his 2020 election defeat.
However, the former president continues to devote most of his time to encouraging efforts to reverse his electoral defeat.
“That election will go down as the crime of the century and our country is being destroyed by people who perhaps have no right to destroy it,” said Trump on Saturday at a Republican Party convention in North Carolina.