The Tea Party Patriots on Monday defended the amount of money the group’s super PAC has poured into operating expenses such as fundraising, saying that such costs are necessary “to accomplish our mission.”

The e-mailed statement to supporters, first reported by the Daily Caller, came after The Washington Post found that the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund and other top tea party PACs have spent a tiny fraction of their funds directly helping the candidates they have endorsed.

Suggestions that the Tea Party Patriots and its PAC “spend too much money on fundraising, with little left over to actually help drive our issues and help our endorsed candidates,” are “sensational allegations,” the group said, adding, “nothing could be further from the truth.”

The Post found that of the $7.4 million that the Georgia-based group’s super PAC has spent since the beginning of 2013, just $184,505 has gone to boost candidates. Three-quarters of the spending by the Citizens Fund — $5.5 million — has been devoted to fundraising and direct mail.

In addition, Tea Party President Jenny Beth Martin, who runs the super PAC, has been receiving $15,000 monthly consulting fees.

Spokesman Kevin Broughton told The Post last week that the super PAC, which was formed in January 2013, has had to spend time “marshaling resources” and plans to be more active in races throughout the summer and fall. He defended Martin’s fees as reasonable compensation for her work.

In its statement Monday, the group said that “while the Tea Party Patriots is grassroots-based and volunteer driven, altruism inevitably meets reality; it costs money to operate an organization of this magnitude.

“When we hire an employee, he or she is paid to work toward our mission. When we travel, it is to work toward our mission. When we lease an office, it is to have a place to work to advance our mission. When we pay for training and tools for our volunteers, it is so that they can better accomplish our mission. When we buy supplies, buy equipment, pay contractors, pay lawyers, pay for parking, pay for anything and everything we buy, it is all to accomplish our mission.”

"We’re going to keep fighting for personal freedom, economic freedom, and a debt free future," the statement concluded. "Smears from the liberal media and GOP Establishment will not deter us. We wear them as badges of honor."