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A former aide to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is accused of lining his pockets with nearly $140,000 from a political action committee he founded while spending very little on the PAC’s mission.
“Corbin Trent, who previously acted as a top aide to Ocasio-Cortez and helped propel her into office, formed the No Excuses PAC after his departure as her communications director in 2019 and exiting her campaign in 2020,” Fox News reported, adding that he “funneled six figures in donor funds from” the PAC “into his own pockets for reported consulting work, all while spending minimal amounts on the PAC’s actual mission.”
Trent launched the PAC in 2021 with the objective of getting rid of the Senate filibuster by trying to defeat Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.). However, a recent report stated that No Excuses spent very little money on the group’s stated mission.
“Instead, Trent paid himself nearly $140,000 for reported communication and management consulting between February 2021 and September 2023, which is shown in Federal Election Commission filings,” Fox News noted.
During the same period, the group only spent $14,831 to buy radio ads targeting both senators, which means that the PAC paid him about ten times more for alleged consulting services than it spent on its stated objectives, according to the FEC’s figures.
“Trent, who did not respond to a Fox News Digital request for comment, told the Daily Beast he earned the money from television appearances, which he said furthered the PAC’s mission. However, the publication noted that he had made consistent payments to himself even when he did not appear on television,” Fox reported.
The outlet noted that previously, Trent founded the group Justice Democrats, which helped elect AOC.
Now, No Excuses appears to have moved on from attempting to ditch the filibuster to convincing President Joe Biden not to run again and asking for donations to do so.
Help us put this ad on TV and radio in Washington, D.C. to grab media attention and start a serious conversation among Democratic leaders in 2024.
Donate here: https://t.co/rCyqzU2hso pic.twitter.com/gd6KVDBFi5
— No Excuses PAC (@NoExcuses_Pac) November 8, 2023
In January 2022, Trent made headlines for being critical of Biden.
“He’s deeply unpopular. He’s old as sh*t. He’s largely been ineffective unless we’re counting judges or whatever the hell inside-baseball scorecard we’re using. And I think he’ll probably get demolished in the midterms,” Trent said at the time.
Far-left activists and groups at the time began to blame Biden for supposed inaction on key issues like “climate change.”
For example, a group called “Occupy Biden” gathered near his residence in Delaware between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 to protest and demand that he declare a “climate emergency.” A group spokesperson blasted Biden for not doing enough on the issue, though as president, he can only do so much and would need the Legislative Branch to pass legislation for broader moves.
“We do understand that an administration that at least believes and asserts that climate crisis is real is an asset. But in a time of emergency, we must act to do everything possible to avert catastrophe,” Karen Igou, a spokesperson for Occupy Biden, told Fox News then.
Progressives are stepping up their critique of Biden over the failure of various issues to pass, but others doubt that a left-wing challenge would ultimately be successful.
“I think when you look at the (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) and the Bernies, they’re really disappointed that the deal was struck by the end of this year. I think they feel like he’s sold out. I think that they were really disappointed with any compromise that he made,” said Lee Carter, a Republican pollster. “They’re ready to pounce on him.”
But Carter added that it is no certainty that the criticism will rise to the level of spawning a left-wing challenge for the 2024 nomination. That doesn’t mean the party’s uber-left faction, which is growing, won’t try to continue pushing him in their direction.
“I think that President Biden is in a very difficult position because he’s got to make concessions to the far left,” Carter said.