Donald Trump’s Donors, Not His Bank Account, Fueled His Magic Summer

The candidate spent just $100,000 of his own money for his summer campaign.

Supporters wait for presidential candidate and Republican front-runner Donald Trump at a campaign rally at the Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia, October 14, 2015.
Chip Somodevilla AFP/Getty
Oct. 15, 2015, 11:07 p.m.

The man who claims $10 billion in wealth barely spent any of his own money on his front-running presidential race this summer, as tens of thousands of Americans pitched in with $3.8 million—enough to cover nearly all his expenses.

Some 2,200 donors gave at least $200 to Donald Trump’s campaign over the three-month-period, totaling more than $1 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings. The campaign said an additional 72,000 donors combined to give Trump $2.8 million, or an average $38.73 each.

Trump lent himself $1.8 million earlier this year but, over the summer, gave his campaign just $100,000. That plus the contributions came close to paying the $4.2 million in expenses he racked up in that period.

“While our original budget was substantially higher than the amount spent, good business practices and even better ideas and policy have made it unnecessary to have spent a larger sum,” Trump said in a prepared statement. “To be No. 1 in every poll, both state and national, and to have spent the least amount of dollars of any serious candidate is a testament to what I can do for America.”

The total donations during the three months that ended September 30 represent an eightfold increase in pace from what he received from donors in his first filing period. Then, he took in just $92,000 in the final two weeks of June after he entered the race.

Trump’s $4.2 million in spending is three times what he reported in his first FEC report. Like in that one, however, fuel and other operating costs for the 757 jetliner he flies around in was again the single biggest expense: $723,426.

He also reported spending $697,529 on T-shirts and hats, $201,072 to rent email lists from the conservative website Newsmax, and $60,000 on Green Monster Consulting, the firm owned by his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

His campaign reported it had $255,000 in the bank heading into October, but the figure in Trump’s case is largely meaningless, as he could at any time write himself another seven-figure check. (Although his actual net worth is likely considerably less than $10 billion.) Trump has said he is prepared to spend $1 billion to win the presidency.

What We're Following See More »
BARR MAY BRIEF CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS THIS WEEKEND
Mueller Reports
1 days ago
THE LATEST

"The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has delivered a report on his inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 election to Attorney General William P. Barr ... Barr told congressional leaders in a letter late Friday that he may brief them within days on the special counsel’s findings. 'I may be in a position to advise you of the special counsel’s principal conclusions as soon as this weekend,' he wrote in a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Judiciary committees. It is up to Mr. Barr how much of the report to share with Congress and, by extension, the American public. The House voted unanimously in March on a nonbinding resolution to make public the report’s findings, an indication of the deep support within both parties to air whatever evidence prosecutors uncovered."

CLOSED DOOR DISCUSSION WITH HOUSE INTEL
Cohen Back on the Hill for More Testimony
2 weeks ago
THE LATEST
SEEK A DECADE OF PERSONAL RETURNS
Pascrell Ready to Demand Trump Taxes
2 weeks ago
THE LATEST

"House Democrats plan to formally demand President Donald Trump’s tax returns in about two weeks, a key lawmaker said Tuesday. They intend to seek a decade’s worth of his personal tax returns, though not his business filings, said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee."

Source:
CONGRESSIONAL STAFF ARE PROBING
Cohen's Attorneys Discussed Pardon with Trump Lawyers
2 weeks ago
THE LATEST

"An attorney for Michael Cohen, Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, raised the possibility of a pardon with attorneys for the president and his company after federal agents raided Mr. Cohen’s properties in April, according to people familiar with the discussions. Conversations among those parties are now being probed by congressional investigators."

Source:
DEMS ALLEGE TRUMP INTERVENED TO BENEFIT HOTEL
Judge Rules GSA Must Turn Over Documents on FBI Relocation
2 weeks ago
THE LATEST
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login