Erin Lichy reacted after Real Housewives of New York City viewers accused her of donating to former President Donald Trump‘s “Stop the Steal” campaign following the 2020 election.
“Regarding the hateful and misinformed social commentary going on about me, I’d like to dispel these false narratives before they continue any further,” Lichy, 36, exclusively told Us Weekly in a statement on Monday, July 31. “I do not deny the election and have never supported ‘Stop the Steal.’ I unequivocally believe that the 2020 presidential election was fair and the president was rightfully elected.”
Lichy previously addressed the speculation via social media after Instagram commenters began asking her about TikTok videos alleging that she donated money to Republicans after the 2020 election results were declared.
“There are tiktoks that you donated to support january 6 white supremacists,” one fan alleged in the comments section of one of Lichy’s recent Instagram posts. Lichy denied the speculation in her own comment, writing, “Untrue but happy to answer questions through dm as long as you can be open ❤️.”
The Instagram commenter seemed to be referring to several recent TikTok videos that alleged Lichy sent four separate donations to Trump’s campaign after he lost the November 2020 election to President Joe Biden. In one clip, a TikTok user shared a screenshot that purported to show Lichy’s four donations to WinRed, a fundraising platform for Republican candidates that is endorsed by the Republican National Committee.
Another TikTok video included dates of Lichy’s alleged donations, all of which supposedly occurred after major news organizations correctly projected Biden, 80, as the winner. Following his defeat, Trump, 77, falsely claimed the opposite, tweeting, “I WON THIS ELECTION, BY A LOT!” Trump’s campaign then sent multiple emails to supporters asking for donations “to help defend the integrity” of the election.
WinRed is primarily used to process donations for election campaigns, but an October 2021 HuffPost report linked the platform to Kash Patel, who was using WinRed to raise money for his “Legal Offense Trust.” At the time, a statement on Patel’s website said the funds would “be allocated for purposes including (but not necessarily limited to) valid legal expenses.”
Because Patel, 43, was not running for office, he didn’t have to disclose how donations were spent — and some critics wondered whether the money would be used to help fund legal defenses for people who participated in the January 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
A rep for Patel, meanwhile, said that Patel was cooperating with the investigation into the insurrection. “The Kash Patel Legal Offense Trust was established several months ago, to assist Mr. Patel in raising funds to help fellow Americans who felt they had been silenced or censored by the media and big tech,” the spokesperson told HuffPost at the time. “Mr. Patel continues to engage with the committee and will always tell the truth about the events of January 6.”
Last year, the January 6 committee found that Trump raised $250 million in donations in the week after the election for an “Official Election Defense Fund” that did not exist. Instead, the funds went to Trump’s Save America PAC, which then made contributions to Trump hotels and the company that organized the rally that preceded the January 6 attack.
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In a deposition, one former Trump campaign staffer described the alleged defense fund as nothing more than a “marketing tactic.”