"It's an issue that I have relationships with Mr. Trump's staff," he said in a phone interview. "I will eliminate the questions and shut down the super PAC." Ciletti's decision was first reported by Politico.
Ciletti said Thursday that he did not receive the donor contact information "from anyone employed by the Trump Organization or the Trump campaign," but refused to say how he obtained it. He also said that any work he did for Trump came before the real estate mogul officially entered the race in mid-June.
The Colorado GOP operative declined to say whether Lewandowski played a role in setting up the super PAC or whether Trump had authorized the super PAC to use his Rolodex to reach potential contributors.
"How it came into existence isn't really relevant at this point," he said. He started the group, he said, because "it was an opportunity to have an important role in the presidential race." But, Ciletti added, "its impact will never be realized."
He said neither Trump nor anyone from his campaign had asked him to shut down the operation.
Ciletti said the group had a half a dozen consultants and had already begun spending money on voter data and media. Now, he said, Make America Great Again will fulfill its remaining obligations to vendors and refund any leftover donations. He declined to say how much the super PAC had raised, which does not have to be reported until January.
"My intent with the super PAC was to keep the focus on the candidate, where it should be," he said.