These Women Helped Incite the Capitol Riot. Now They Want to Steal Georgia for Trump.

Women for America First obtained the permit for the Jan. 6 “Stop the Steal" rally. Now they're raising cash for an Arizona-style “audit“ in Georgia.

Aug 10 2021, 2:11pm

As attendees made their way into the Save America rally in front of the White House on the morning of Jan. 6, Amy Kremer welcomed them by shouting: “Hello deplorables,” from the stage.

That event, organized by Kremer’s Women for America First group, featured the now-infamous speech from President Donald Trump when he urged followers to march on the U.S. Capitol. Thousands of Trump fans answered that call and proceeded to carry out a violent attack that left five people dead and may have contributed to four police officers present on the day taking their own lives in the months since.

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Kremer has denied responsibility for what happened that day, but it was the culmination of a coordinated plan. The former Tea Party activist, together with a group of right-wing and extremist Trump supporters, had spent weeks criss-crossing the country on a 27-city bus tour stoking rage among Trump supporters and urging them to travel to Washington DC on Jan. 6.

Since then, Women for America First, a rebranded relic of the Tea Party movement of the late-2000s, has emerged as one of the leading groups hyping baseless election fraud conspiracies over the last six months, calling Jan. 6 rioters “political prisoners,” and fundraising for Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz. They’ve also hosted grassroots events across Georgia calling on Trump supporters to stand up and take action, and most recently, called for the recall of Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger.

“It's hardly surprising that Amy Kremer, after convening the Jan. 6 rally that served as the insurrection's opening act, continues to seek relevance and a living by advancing the former president's lie of a stolen election in her home state of Georgia,” Adele Stan, the director of Right Wing Watch, told VICE News.

But some Republicans in Georgia are also wary of Kremer. They’re concerned her efforts will undermine the GOP’s ability to retake the state, not to mention to regain the presidency and control of the Senate.

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“Continuing to re-litigate the losing battles of the past with audits detached from reality and not supported by facts only serves to further alienate the swing voters we need to regain relevance,” Geoff Duncan, lieutenant governor of Georgia, told VICE News. “Even some Trump supporters who took the bait on early conspiracy theories are beginning to realize that the only way for conservatives to win back the White House is moving on from 2020 and focusing our efforts on 2024.”

VICE News briefly spoke to Kremer this week, but scheduled follow-up calls went unanswered, as did emails, text messages and messages on social media platforms.

The dark money group has remained under the radar and the only public members are Kremer and her 30-year-old daughter Kylie. The group is constantly seeking funding from supporters, soliciting $5 to $5,000 donations, but it’s unknown where any of the money comes from, or how it’s spent.

Kremer’s role in Jan. 6 is still shrouded in mystery, but her group was the permit holder for the rally in front of the White House, and a ProPublica investigation in July found that Kremer had signaled to the White House ahead of time that she wanted to be in complete control of the event. 

A spokesperson for the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack declined to comment on whether Kremer will be called as a witness. 

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In the days after the attack, Kremer denied any wrongdoing and her daughter, who is executive director of WFAF, said she had received death threats.

But the Kremers didn’t keep a low profile for long.

In April, as the calls to overturn the election re-intensified thanks to the Arizona Senate’s authorization of the audit in Maricopa County, Kremer and her group held a “Save America Summit” at the Trump National Doral resort in Florida. Headlining the event where tickets cost up to $5,000 were Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, both of whom have been major boosters of the stolen election conspiracy.

A planned July 4 summit never happened, but in recent weeks, Kremer has focused her attention on Georgia, specifically trying to drum up support for an Arizona-style audit in the state.

To do this she has embarked on a state-wide “election integrity” tour featuring sitting Republican state lawmakers as well as appearances by Greene and conservative talk show host John Fredericks.

In one video posted on the group’s YouTube channel, Kremer is seen having to deny that she is a conspiracy theorist for believing in election fraud. “I am not a QAnon person, I am a regular mom who loves my country...and Donald Trump won,” she tells a cheering audience.

At one tour stop, Fredericks can be seen on stage in front of an audience who jump to their feet and start spontaneously shouting: “Trump won. Trump won.” 

The events have also been broadcast on Real America’s Voice, a fringe right-wing network which is also home to Steve Bannon’s War Room show.

The central message being promoted by Kremer and the other speakers is that people need to take things into their own hands.

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“You can’t do it by sitting home on your couch, and doing a Facebook post. You have got to get active,” Fredericks told an audience in Fulton County, the center of a conspiracy theory claiming that officials there counted thousands of ballots more than once—which they didn’t.

Just like Arizona, there have been multiple audits already carried out in Georgia that have shown no evidence of widespread voter fraud, but that hasn’t stopped Kremer and her friends stoking anger among those willing to listen.

Kremer’s call to action is eerily reminiscent of the messages she was spreading in the lead up to Jan. 6.

On Tuesday, Kremer tweeted a picture of a packed room in Woodstock, a small town just outside Atlanta, where guest Seth Keshel, who Kremer says is a former military intelligence officer who now claims to be an expert in election fraud, told the audience: “It is past time for everyone to get up and stop expecting someone else to do something about the 2020 election.”

An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet. It might have been deleted.

But town halls are not the only thing Kremer and WFAF are doing. Kremer announced in an email to supporters last month that she was “working to put together a committee of people that have committed to recalling the GA Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger. “

Raffensperger is the election official who Trump attempted to coerce into changing the state’s election results in an hour-long phone call on Jan. 2. The call is currently being investigated by the Fulton County District Attorney for potential election interference.

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The group is also promoting an event called “Magafest” which the Women for America First website says will take place over Labor Day weekend, though no location or speakers have been announced yet. 

Kremer has also tweeted about a national day of protest against a laundry list of right-wing talking points and conspiracies: 

An error occurred while retrieving the Tweet. It might have been deleted.

Kremer was a relative nobody on the MAGA scene just a few years ago, but she has managed to grow an obscure organization she launched in 2019 into a major pro-Trump group that helped supercharge the Stop the Steal movement in the wake of the election and is now trying to repeat its success in Georgia.

In 2019, Kremer, together with her daughter, launched Women for America First and the group’s first major campaign was sponsoring a “Stop Impeachment Now!” march in Washington. Speakers at the event included former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka and Jack Posobiec, the online troll who promoted the baseless Pizzagate conspiracy theory.

But it was only after the election in November 2020 that the group gained widespread attention. This happened when Kylie Kremer launched a Stop the Steal Facebook days after the election. The group, which was spreading disinformation and calls for violence,gained 350,000 followers in the space of a day before being shut down by Facebook.

The Kremers jumped on the notoriety they gained from the perceived censorship imposed on them by Facebook and used it to leverage support from figures like MyPillow CEO and known conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell as well as former Trump aide Steve Bannon.

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That money helped fund the cross-county bus tour in the lead up to the Capitol riots.

All of the work being conducted by WFAF is overtly political in nature but the group is registered with the IRS as a 501(c)4 non-profit, which designates it as a social welfare organization and means it doesn’t have to pay taxes.

Under this designation, the group “may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity.” But based solely on the group’s own website, it appears that politics is not just its primary activity, but it’s only activity. 

On its Facebook page it explicitly calls itself a “political organization.”

But even if the group was breaching the rules, “there's very little enforcement of these rules from the Internal Revenue Service” Abby Levine, the director of the Bolder Advocacy Program at Alliance for Justice, told VICE News.

The IRS did not respond to a request for comment about Women for America First’s status.

Because Women for America First is regulated by the IRS and not the Federal Election Commission it doesn’t have to reveal where their funding comes from. The group does have to file accounts with the IRS, known as a Form 990, that will reveal how much money it has raised—but to date the group has not filed such a report.

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But even when it does file accounts, new rules introduced in recent years means the group won’t have to reveal the source of its funding.

In the recent email about the town hall meetings, Kremer told supporters “I’m not wealthy and can’t pay for these out of my pocket. And I’m not doing this for my health or because I’m being paid. I’m doing this because I LOVE our country and I want to help restore America to her greatness.”

Kremer is a former Delta Airlines flight attendant and real estate agent who first burst onto the national political scene when she was one of the founding members of the tea party movement back in 2009.

But even prior to becoming a national figure, Kremer was one of the earliest proponents—along with her future idol Donald Trump—of the birther conspiracy theory, a Mother Jones investigation discovered.

“I truly do not think Barack Obama is eligible to be President of this great country,” she wrote in an October 2008 post. “If he is eligible and really doesn’t have anything to hide, then why not just produce the vault copy of his birth certificate and put the issue to rest?”

In another echo of her future life, after Obama was victorious in 2008, she blogged about her hopes that Congress or indeed then VP Dick Cheney would refuse to certify the Electoral College vote. 

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“Unfortunately,” she wrote, “none of them have any balls!”

For five years Kremer pursued the Tea Party’s goal of moving the Republican party to the right, by helping to raise tens of millions of dollars—the vast majority of which was spent on administration and fundraising rather than on political campaigns.

But following bitter fallouts with several members of the movement, Kremer left the group in 2014 and decided to funnel all of her efforts into supporting Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Her first move was to start a political action committee called TrumPAC, but that ran into problems as it breached campaign finance rules for using the candidate’s name without permission.

It was rebranded, but again Kremer fell out with other members of the group so she left and set up the Women Vote Trump Super-­PAC with Ann Stone, the ex-wife of Trump adviser Roger Stone. The group made the ambitious promise to raise $30 million to support Trump’s reelection.

In the end, the group raised just shy of $30,000 and by 2017 the group was in $20,000 debt. It also fell afoul of the FEC rules regarding the use of a candidate’s name and later rebranded as Women Vote Smart.

That was not Kremer’s final run-in with the FEC. Earlier this year, Rantt Media revealed that Kremer was fined for failing to file the appropriate reports. The fine remains outstanding today. 

Initially, Kremer struggled to gain any traction within Trumpworld. Having failed to fundraise for Trump, she briefly entertained the idea of running for office. But she soon gave that up too after a spectacular failure in a 2017 Republican primary in Georgia, where she won just 351 votes.

But better times were around the corner. Having returned to the full-time effort of supporting Trump, Kremer was rewarded with recognition from the then president when he saw her appear on Fox News in 2018 talking about death threats she had received for talking about immigration reform on CNN.

“Amy Kremer, Women for Trump, was so great on @foxandfriends. Brave and very smart, thank you Amy! @amykremer,” Trump tweeted.

Soon Kremer was rubbing shoulders with Trump in the White House after an invite from Ivanka Trump. 

Throughout all the turmoil of the last 10 months, one thing has remained unwavering however, Kremer’s adoration of Trump.

When Trump returned to his Mar-a-Lago resort on the day President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Kremer turned up with a charter bus emblazoned with “Thank you, President Trump! Welcome home!”

And last month, hours before the former president was due to speak at CPAC, Kremer tweeted: “I’m so excited, I feel like I did when I was a kid and I couldn’t go to sleep on Christmas Eve because Santa was coming. I can’t wait to see and hear President Trump tomorrow.”

Tagged:

Politics, GEORGIA, Donald Trump, GOP, Republicans, conspiracy theories, audit, Capitol riots, big lie, women for america first, Amy Kremer

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