RFK Jr.'s biggest backer is a Republican megadonor who spent $20 million boosting Trump: FEC filings

Super PAC backing Robert F. Kennedy Jr. got $5 million from Trump donor Timothy Mellon

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published August 2, 2023 2:56PM (EDT)

Democratic Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Democratic Presidential Candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

A super PAC affiliated with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist and nephew of famed President John F. Kennedy running for president as a Democrat, has received half its funding from a longtime conservative megadonor and bankroller for former President Donald Trump, The Guardian reports. In the campaign finance reports it filed on Monday, American Values 2024 reported receiving $5 million from Timothy Mellon, a wealthy Wyoming businessman and grandson of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. 

The PAC registered with the Federal Election Commission in April, days before Kennedy launched his 2024 presidential bid, according to FEC records. Mellon, 81, was a top donor to Trump's 2020 re-election campaign, giving $10 million twice to the Trump-aligned American First Action super PAC that year. "The fact that Kennedy gets so much bipartisan support tells me two things: that he's the one candidate who can unite the country and root out corruption and that he's the one Democrat who can win in the general election," Mellon said in a press release circulated by the super PAC ahead of the reporting deadline.

The industrialist heir also sports an air of controversy for his support of contentious immigration laws, large contributions to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's fund to build a border wall and use of racist, anti-Black stereotypes in his self-published 2015 autobiography. Alongside donations from the PAC's other primary donor Gavin de Becker, an author and security specialist associated with Jeff Bezos, their contributions amounted to 97% of the super PAC's funding.