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.