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About two weeks after super PAC Make America Great Again was formed in June 2015, it got its biggest cash infusion of the cycle: a cool million from Vegas casino magnate Phil Ruffin. But by October, scrutiny of the PAC proved too much to bear. Trump was running on a platform that explicitly eschewed big-money backers, and the campaign was having trouble explaining its many links to the super PAC’s donors (including Jared Kushner’s mother) and executives (the group was run by a Trump campaign vendor).
Finding itself under a microscope and publicly shunned by the Trump campaign, Make America Great Again ceased operations less than six months later, with more than $157,000 still in the bank, according to Federal Election Commission filings. But when the group filed its first FEC report of 2016, it reported a negative cash balance of about $3,500. The FEC has tried ever since to get the group to say what it did with the $160,000 difference.