On October 13 2021, a bizarre fundraising text that was apparently from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) was shared to Twitter by journalist Andrew Solender:
These NRCC fundraising texts are getting intense pic.twitter.com/2Smm3NXCYy
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) October 14, 2021
Text beneath a black-and-white photograph of former U.S. President Donald Trump with “ALERT” emblazoned across it read:
You’re a traitor…
You abandoned Trump.
We were told you were a tried & true, lifelong patriot. But when Trump said he’d run for President if we took back the House from Nancy Pelosi…. You did nothing. Was Trump wrong about you?
This is your final chance to prove your loyalty or be branded a deserter. We’re giving you one final chance to stand with Trump. You only have 17 min >>> https://gopwin.us/2ng
Readers further observed that it alluded to a 17 minute deadline — and that “Q” is the seventeenth letter of the alphabet, which appeared to be signaling to adherents of the weaponized conspiracy theory known as QAnon.
There was also quite a lot of skepticism. ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl tagged the NRCC and others, asking if the screenshot represented a genuine NRCC text:
Does @RepTomEmmer approve of branding people who don't donate traitors to Trump?
What's with the 17-minute deadline? https://t.co/Nn9TuCtWeD
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) October 14, 2021
Although we did not locate a response from the tagged Twitter accounts (including @NRCC), Solender’s was not the only image we found. Additional screenshots with different backgrounds were shared on Twitter by people who stated they also received the text, which was similar in tone to other messages from the NRCC):
The NRCC runs THE most abhorrent text messaging program. It’s shameful. Pre-check too of course. Can you imagine sending this to people who support you? pic.twitter.com/V0do3lG4CG
— Tim Tagaris (@ttagaris) October 14, 2021
— Arieh Kovler (@ariehkovler) October 14, 2021
The texts contained a URL: gopwin.us/2ng. Visiting the link redirected to a GOP fundraising platform WinRed, with verbiage in line with that of the text.
That fundraising page included two selections, one to “CONFIRM your Trump Patriot Status” and one to “ignore … if you’ve given up on Trump”:
STAND WITH HOUSE CONSERVATIVES TO TAKE BACK THE HOUSE
WE’RE ONLY 5 SEATS AWAY! ARE YOU LOYAL TO TRUMP?
Act Now! Chip in TODAY:
 SOS: Humbly asking for the last time… Your Trump Patriot Status is INCOMPLETE. We’re worried you’ve abandoned Trump. CHECK this box to CONFIRM your Trump Patriot Status and prove you’re a TRUE PATRIOT. UNCHECK this box, we’ll tell Trump you abandoned him.
 Ignore this if you’ve given up on Trump… BUT if you want to MAKE TRUMP PROUD >>> Help us reach our mid-month goal! Pelosi OUTRAISED US 2X in a row and we’re at a DEAD STOP unless we hit our mid-month goal. As it stands, we’re desperately behind and WILL LOSE Trump’s Majority for good[.]
The text basis of the viral NRCC fundraising text made it difficult to validate initially, but a number of accounts shared their own screenshots of the same text. The text contained a link which led to GOP fundraising platform WinRed, and different pleas urging potential donors to “prove” they were a “TRUE PATRIOT,” by giving them money.