Turning Point Action, a conservative pro-Trump organization, paid Kimberly Guilfoyle $60,000 to introduce her fiancé, Donald Trump Jr., in a speech lasting less than three minutes at the “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse in Washington on January 6, 2021, according to multiple people familiar with the payment.
The payment to Guilfoyle was disclosed Monday by Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California, who told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the House select committee investigating the January 6 riot at the US Capitol has evidence that former President Donald Trump’s family members personally benefited from money raised based on Trump’s false election claims.
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.
The Turning Point Action donor whose money was used to pay for Guilfoyle’s speaking fee was Julie Jenkins Fancelli, heiress to the Publix supermarket chain, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
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.
During Monday’s hearing the committee showed a video presentation from a senior investigator to lay out how Trump used the false claims of election fraud to raise the $250 million from donors. According to the investigator, the fundraising emails indicated the money would go toward an election defense fund, but the investigator said most of the money was routed to Save America, a pro-Trump PAC.
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.