Matthew Tunstall, whose also goes by “Matte Nox,” has raised millions of dollars over the last three years running two political action committees (PACs) that impersonated Donald Trump during his campaign.
The 34-year-old from Texas comes off like a forgettable influencer with a following of about 26,000 followers on Instagram. He has only posted seven times. He calls himself an “executive producer” and an “award-winning writer” in his online bio.
In his LinkedIn accounts, he says he is an investor in “women-led ventures,” including a modeling agency and a beauty company that sells face masks. But “Matte Nox” is not what he seems. “Matte Nox” is an online persona of Matthew Tunstall.
Founded in 2018 and 2019, Tunstall’s two PACs, Support American Leaders and Campaign to Support the President, raised a total of $3.4 million, according to federal filings. Much of that money pays for billions of robocalls the groups make, a CNN KFile analysis shows the PACs paid Tunstall at least $738,000 of that sum.
In just 2020, the Support American Leaders PAC paid Tunstall more than 360 separate times, the PAC’s largest number of expenditures. The majority of contributions were from retirees, according to their filings.
These robocalls used the former President Trump’s voice. “I’m Donald Trump. Tonight I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border, out of love and devotion to our country.” A deep-voiced narrator then comes on asking the listener to “be one of the hundreds of thousands of patriots that helped President Trump finally build a wall by making a one-time urgently needed donation to the campaign.”
A CNN KFile investigation into Support American Leaders PAC reveals it is run by 32-year-old Matthew Tunstall, who has a history of managing questionable groups that look for people in order to raise money while doing very little. Tunstall made more than $300,000 via the groups in the 2016 presidential cycle, FEC records show.
It’s since been revealed that none of the money donated to the two groups has gone directly to Trump or his campaign during the 2020 cycle. In spite of this, Matthew Tunstall reports on his federal filings that his PACs have spent approximately $407,000 in support of Trump. A close analysis of those independent expenditures shows that around $380,000 of that money was spent on robocalls and operating expenses, and about $27,000 was spent on advertising.
Tunstall said robocalls using Trump’s voice were caused by a technical error and that his PAC no longer places calls of that nature.
But Matthew Tunstall continued and built a huge political robocall campaign in the country. Tunstall’s two Trump PACs have placed an estimated 3.48 billion robocalls since October 2019, according to NoMoRobo. That averages out to about 184 million robocalls every month to Americans’ phones across the country.
Following an inquiry, Rally, a payment processor used for fundraising solicitations, told CNN’s KFile the processor had suspended Support American Leaders PAC based on previous reports on Tunstall.
Matthew Tunstall told CNN that call center operators were instructed to give the correct name of PAC and that the error was the result of incorrect scripts.
“The call center agents are trained to say that the contribution goes to helping Support American Leaders PAC, re-elect President Trump and support his agenda, which is true,” Tunstall said. “The initial testing is still in the pre-stage where call center agents are still getting used to the scripting. This was an error or something that isn’t on the script if you heard this… Contributions made are not tax deductible for income tax purposes.’”