The Netherlands’ Trump Is Getting Campaign Funding From the American Far Right
A new report from the New York Times reveals that right-wing American activists have been funneling money to Geert Wilders, the founder and leaders of the nationalist Party for Freedom. Both the Kremlin and conservatives in the US find much to like in Wilders’s opposition to the Netherlands’ membership in the European Union and ferocious criticism of immigration and Islam.
Political campaign seasons in Europe tend to be subdued affairs — typically a fraction of the length and cost of US ones — so modest American donations can make a big splash across the Atlantic. Consider this astonishing point from the Times report:
David Horowitz, an American right-wing activist, has contributed roughly $150,000 to Mr. Wilders’s Party for Freedom over two years — of which nearly $120,000 came in 2015, making it the largest individual contribution in the Dutch political system that year, according to recently released records.
A mere $120,000 was the single largest contribution of the year in 2015. The president of Horowitz’s foundation claims that the money was meant to help Wilders with legal fees — he’s been put on trial multiple times over hate speech charges in the Netherlands — and not explicit political donations. But the money is going to Wilders’s party, so it’s unclear how donors would be able to control, or know, know the money is actually spent.