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Santorum Rejects Tainted Campaign Funds, Donates to Charleston Shooting Victims

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GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum issued a statement Monday after discovering that he received campaign donations in 2012 from an individual who led a group cited by 21-year-old Dylann Roof, the shooter at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina tragedy.

Santorum named Earl Holt, a white supremacist and leader of the Council of Conservative Citizens, as the donor.

Previous media reports revealed Holt donated to 2012 and 2016 GOP presidential campaigns. Roof allegedly praised Holt in an online manifesto before he confessed to killing nine people during a bible study – all victims were African American.

Mediaite credits The Guardian, reporting the donations are as follows:

  • $8,500 to the Cruz-supporting Jobs, Growth and Freedom Fund political action committee
  • $1,750 to RandPAC
  • $2,000 to Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign
  • $1,500 to Santorum

Santorum said, “It was brought to my attention late Sunday evening that an individual who led a group cited by the murderer who terrorized the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston had given to one of my past political campaigns.”

He continued: “Rather than put more money back in the pockets of such an individual, my 2012 campaign committee will be donating the amount of his past donations to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund to support the victims of this tragedy.”

Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. found the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund to aid families who were affected by the shooting. Donations will help pay for funerals and counseling.

Other GOP candidates who are refunded Holt’s donations include Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Paul will be donating the money to the Mother Emanuel Hope Fund.


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