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Trump starts summer push with crippling money deficit

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to supporters as he arrives to speak at a rally Saturday in Phoenix.

Donald J. Trump enters the general election campaign laboring under the worst financial and organizational disadvantage of any major party nominee in recent history, placing both his candidacy and his party in political peril.

Trump began June with just $1.3 million in cash on hand, a figure more typical for a campaign for the House of Representatives than the White House, and trailed Hillary Clinton by more than $41 million, according to reports filed late Monday night with the Federal Election Commission.

He has a staff of around 70 people — compared with nearly 700 for Clinton — suggesting only the barest effort toward preparing to contest swing states this fall. And he fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, on Monday, after concerns among allies and donors about his ability to run a competitive race.

The Trump campaign has not aired a television advertisement since he effectively secured the nomination in May and has not booked any advertising for the summer or fall. Clinton and her allies spent nearly $26 million on advertising in June alone, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, pummeling Trump over his temperament, his statements and his mocking of a disabled reporter. The only sustained reply, aside from Trump’s gibes at rallies and on Twitter, has come from a pair of groups that spent less than $2 million combined.

Trump’s fundraising for May reflects his lag in assembling the core of a national finance team. In the same month that he clinched the Republican nomination, Trump raised just $3.1 million and was forced to lend himself $2 million to meet costs. Some invitations to Trump fundraising events have featured the same short list of national Republican finance volunteers regardless of what city the event is held in, suggesting Trump has had some trouble lining up local co-hosts.

A spokesman for Trump did not respond to an inquiry about the campaign’s spending plans. During an interview on Monday on CNN, Lewandowski defended the candidate’s bare-bones approach.

“We are leaner, meaner, more efficient, more effective. Get bigger crowds. Get better coverage,” Lewandowski said. “If this was the business world, people would be commending Mr. Trump for the way he’s run this campaign.”

But the shortfall is leaving Trump extraordinarily dependent on the Republican National Committee, which has seen record fundraising this campaign cycle and, long before Trump even declared his upstart candidacy, had begun investing heavily in a long-range plan to bolster the party’s technical and organizational capacity.

In a first for a major-party nominee, Trump has suggested he will leave the crucial task of field organizing in swing states to the Republican National Committee, which typically relies on the party’s nominee to help fund, direct and staff national Republican political efforts. His decision threatens to leave the party with significant shortfalls of money and manpower: On Monday, the party reported raising $13 million during May, about a third of the money it raised in May 2012, when Mitt Romney led the ticket.

“It’s like a waterfall,” said Brian O. Walsh, a Republican campaign strategist. “There are things that have to happen, and someone has to pay for them.”

Trump’s cash crunch marks a stark reversal from the 2012 presidential campaign, which seemed to inaugurate a new era of virtually unlimited money in U.S. politics, buoyed by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision two years earlier. By the same point that year, President Barack Obama and Romney were raising tens of millions of dollars per month with their parties.

And while Romney faced a larger deficit overall against Obama in June 2012, he was raising far more money than Trump is now, with big donors flocking to his cause.

“The campaign has got to be the entity that’s out there driving the fundraising car,” said Austin Barbour, a lobbyist who served as national finance co-chairman of the Romney campaign. “And it better be a big old Cadillac.”

Trump has defied conventional wisdom before, clinching the Republican nomination with a small organization and modest outlays on television. And Republican officials believe they are well prepared to compensate for Trump’s late start. The Republican National Committee has more than 500 field staff members on the ground in swing states, far more than in 2012, and a robust digital and data operation.

Allies of Trump say they believe the tide is already turning. On Tuesday, Trump will appear at a high-dollar fundraiser in New York City hosted by some of the most prominent names on Wall Street.

Fundraisers for Trump, who asked for anonymity to discuss internal discussions, said they were now hoping to raise up to $500 million in joint efforts with the Republican National Committee, or an average of $100 million a month from June through October. He is now reliably raising between $5 million and $7 million in each city where he raises money, those donors said.

A joint fundraising effort with Trump and 11 state Republican parties yielded the Republican National Committee $3 million in just five days at the end of May. Some of the largest checks came from a handful of wealthy Trump supporters who are not party mainstays, suggesting Trump could tap new sources of campaign money.

But Romney was also backed by expansive network of deep-pocketed super PACs and other outside groups that collectively spent hundreds of millions of dollars in an effort to elect him. This year, the Democrats are leading in outside money. Priorities USA Action, a group focused on advertising in support of Clinton, announced on Monday that it had raised $12 million in May and had $52 million on hand — a huge reserve.

The outside spending effort to help Trump, by contrast, has been chaotic and underfunded, hampered by a profusion of competing groups, one of which has spent only $1 million so far on Trump’s behalf.

The most prominent group, Great America, is advised by Ed Rollins, who managed Ronald Reagan’s 1984 campaign, and other more seasoned Republican operatives. But it, too, has had difficulty persuading big donors: On Monday, it reported raising just $1.4 million during the month of May.

Fundraising efforts for Trump have been hampered by the candidate’s own erratic public comments. He has repeatedly said he will pay for his own campaign even as his volunteers fan out around the country to solicit six-figure checks, confusing allies and potential donors alike.

“Two days ago, he said, ‘I may fund it myself,’” Rollins said. “Donors are all being cautious about what’s going to happen here.”

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  • Mr. Trump is clearly not wealthy enough to finance his campaign, so add that to his long list of lies. Forensic accountants engaged to analyze his FEC filing figure that he has a total net wealth of no more than $165 million. That’s a lot, but not the $10 billion his lies claim he has, and not enough to finance a presidential campaign.

    This explains why he engaged in the two bit fraud that was Trump University. He was never a billionaire. Just a small time, thin skinned, racist buffoon.

    Good riddance to him.

  • his personal grassroots campaign got him this far. even with his thin outlines of policies. people see the washinton outsider in his campaign, the change and hope that is needed to make america great again. only a brokered convention can save the republican party.

    hiliar, on the other hand, will need more than just money to get past 31aug and still be in the race. her mantra is: pardon by jan.19.2017. democrats hopes lay with biden, reid or even michelle obama, who has the same qualifications for office and political achievements hiliar has: none.

    • Your fantasy that Mrs. Clinton will be charged with a crime will never happen.

      Get ready for her to be President for eight years.

      “I love the poorly educated!” Go Trump!

        • There was no crime. You don’t understand the law (obviously) but it takes a finding of clear intent to constitute a crime. No one will find intent.

        • the squid’s defense is obfuscation. its clients are easily awed by the squid’s initial blast believing it to be an effective tactic. but, eventually it fades under the incessant scrutiny of truth.

          i’ve told many squid clients, when they are found guilty, sentenced and taken to prison, they go alone.

          everyone else in the courtroom will be going to dinner, movies, drinks, or home to their families and children. everyone. even the squid.

        • The next ? POTUS said she made a mistake and will take full responsibility. People got killed, lives ruined because of her mistake. Maybe because of her concussion, her drinking and blood thinners she just might be the loose cannon. Anyone who can distort the facts like she can is dangerous and definitely infinitely worse than Trump. They are trying to pin Trump with misdemeanors, not felonies.

      • You know of course Obama is pulling the strings. Hillary has got to win or it’s over. Make it stick is the directive. No mistakes or we all go down with the deck chairs on the Titanic.
        Pagliani was the Chief IT guy. He had access to all the emails. The one thing he didn’t have was security clearance. If the FBI found one scrap of evidence he wasn’t supposed to have and they probably did is why they got him on ice.
        Like you say, intent is harder to prove but worthwhile.
        You can see the fraying of the agencies. Before November some people like Pagliani is going to get nervous and start singing like a bird or risk prosecution.
        Somebody is telling the WH spokesman what to say. He’s been looking frazzled. The White House of cards is coming down.

        • unfortunately, for hiliar, the f.b.i. does not have to prove intent. 18 u.s.c. 793(f) provides prosecution for gross negligence in the handling of classified and ubs materials.

  • A couple of items of note: one there is a profound difference between a PR campaign and a national political machine. The later has a host of both operatives and experts that navigate the playing field of logistics, development and regional political nuance. Trump has established NONE. So, while I would give him credit to his makeshift PR machine to get this far and obtain the R nomination, that speaks more to the disarray and fissure of the current R party.

    Money (lacktherof), field operatives (none) and common sense by the rest of America, will doom the rest of his campaign.

  • A friend of Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people and injured another 53 at a gay night club in Orlando last week, said the terrorist was a fan of Hillary Clinton.

    • No way. Mateen is an Islamic terrorist and they do NOT recognize any female in charge. Most Americans are ‘fans’ of NEITHER Hillary or Trump

  • Don’t worry about Trump. What we need to worry about is the 1/2 trillion deficit for the next few years under Obama/Clinton. 21 trillion. There went Social Security.

  • Trump raised just over $3 million in May – the month he secured enough delegates to win the Republican nomination – while Clinton raked in more than $26 million, according to the latest filings from the Federal Election Commission.

    Those numbers – weak for a Congressional campaign, let alone a run at the White House – have put Trump and the Republican Party at an extraordinary financial disadvantage heading into the general election.

    And speaking of “the party,” the Republican National Committee – the entity Trump expects to pick up the slack given that he has no real operation of his own – raised $11 million in May, including $3 million through the Trump Victory fund, a joint fundraising committee created late last month. The RNC began June with $20 million cash on hand.

    These are not good numbers for Republicans. Four years ago, in May 2012, the RNC raised more than $34 million and ended the month with more than $60 million in the bank.

    Summarily, both the R party and their chosen candidate are in deep financial straits….

        • That explains it.
          The next POTUS has a lot of experience. From 2008-2012 she enabled ISIS. Unemployment is down. Immigrants are working, Americans who could not find jobs retired or are living on welfare.
          It’s assuring We have no idea who and where the radical Islamics are. They will make us believers or they will kill us. Open the borders and bring more in.
          It’s assuring to know she has a policy, agenda and real solutions to raise us out of the abyss she and Obama created.
          Obama will go down in history.
          Long live Hillary.

        • You’re rambling. Not at all speaking to the specific issues at hand. A couple of things: did you take your prescribed meds? Have you been missing your doctor proscribed “meetings?” Is the world a fearful and limiting place, in which you have always failed to compete and excel? Never mind, no need to answer–you mommy is bringing down sandwiches to your basement and cookies for dessert….

      • Yeah but why the SA did not report is the the Chump campaign paid $1,000,000 to Chump’s companies for “campaign expenses” in May. The whole thing is a scam to enrich Chump and his companies. If you’re a donor are you really going to give money to this guy knowing that a lot of it will go into his own pocket?

        • Nobody said he was stupid.
          We need Hillary as POTUS. She’ll have a 24/7/365 speech writing staff and the TelePrompter ready to go just in case we need her to make a life and death Benghazi
          decision. She is so politically correct. She will make sure the money keeps flowing from the Saudis and Wall Street.

        • He must be either stupid, naive, and/or arrogant to think that using campaign cash to enrich himself would go unreported, and the optics of such practices would not go unnoticed by potential donors. It’s one thing to support a candidate it’s another thing to support the candidate’s personal businesses. This is just the tip of the iceberg other news outlets are reporting how the campaign has been essentially a piggy bank for insiders and the Trump family.

  • Crisis of Character
    New book to be released.

    “One day, UD [Uniformed Division] officers met to review events at their respective postS. A bewildered new officer arrived. ‘Hey you’ll never believe it, but I passed the First lady and she told me to go to hell!’ A second young officer responded, ‘You think that’s bad? I passed her on the West Colonnade, and all I said was ‘Good morning, First Lady.’ She told me, ‘Go f— yourself.’ ‘Are you serious?’ ‘Go f— yourself!’ He imitated her, pointing a finger.”

    Our next POTUS.

    • As reported on Politico: The author of a new tell-all book about Hillary Clinton could never have seen any of what he claims — he was too low-ranking — say several high-level members of Secret Service presidential details, including the president of the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service. On Tuesday, AFAUSSS, which is strictly nonpartisan, is set to release a statement blasting Gary Byrne author of “Crisis in Character,” saying members “strongly denounce” the book, which they add has made security harder by eroding the trust between agents and the people they protect.
      There is no place for any self-moralizing narratives, particularly those with an underlying motive,” reads the statement from the group’s board of directors, which says Byrne has politics and profit on his mind.

      • Correct. They have confirmed that he was not in a position to see or hear things described in the book and they have concluded that he just made it up to garner book profits from right wing nut jobs. Sad.

    • Why don’t you give a legitimate response to this–

      Donald Trump’s presidential campaign paid more than $1 million last month to companies controlled by the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, according to reports the Trump campaign filed late Monday with the Federal Election Commission.

      The figure represents payments for facilities rental, catering, monthly rents and utilities at more than a half-dozen Trump-owned companies and properties. It includes nearly $350,000 that the Trump campaign paid a Trump-owned company, TAG Air, for the use of Trump’s private jets and helicopters.

      The most striking expenditure in the new filings was $423,372, paid by the Trump campaign for rentals and catering at Trump’s 126-room Palm Beach, Florida, mansion, Mar-A-Lago, which Trump operates as a private club.

      Though the payment was in May, the Mar-A-Lago bill likely covers a number of campaign events Trump has staged there in recent months. A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign did not respond to Emails inquiring about the expenditures and Mar-A-Lago.

      Other Trump-owned recipients of campaign funds include Trump Restaurants, which raked in $125,080 in rent and utilities; Trump Tower Commercial, which charged $72,800 in rent and utilities in the building that houses Trump’s campaign headquarters; the Trump National Golf Club, in Jupiter, Florida, which collected $35,845 for facilities rental and catering; and the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, which billed the campaign for $29,715, for facilities rentals and catering.

      ????

  • On May 29, 2016, Trump tweeted: “Good news is that my campaign has perhaps more cash than any campaign in the history of politics- b/c I stand 100% behind everything we do.” There’s something pathologically wrong with someone who continues to lie even when he knows he’s going to get caught, in this case by his own FEC filing.

    • In a statement released after the campaigns’ May FEC filings were made public, the campaign said it only hosted its first fundraising event on May 25 and promised June’s filing would show the fruits of the campaign’s first full month of “incredible” fundraising.

      • So in the 7 weeks since he became the presumptive nominee, his dysfunctional campaign “organization” did no fundraising. Instead, Trump spent his efforts advancing a bizarre assortment of conspiracy theories –– Clinton might have been involved in the death of Vince Foster, the federal judge presiding over the fraud case against Trump University should be disqualified by his ethnicity, Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of JFK, and that American soldiers in Iraq were living large off larceny.

        • You missed Whitewater, Clinton Foundation and classified emails. boola-incredible, almost great but not quite.

        • You avoided a straight forward question– one that is the most nominal to answer-give me a specific dollar amount!!? The fact is, and I dare you to dispute with campaign filings, but his campaign is in arrears–period.

          Not too surprising, as this is dactyl what happened to dozen and dozens of contractors and subs, who never got paid, and were conscripted stiffed by Trump enterprises in NJ…..so very telling.

        • Bs. It’s a long time to the election. True, Trump does not have the financial backing. He will wait until close to the election. Hillary is selling out to the highest bidder. Just remember, pay back is a bitch.

  • U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, a Democrat, was found guilty of all counts against him, including racketeering, fraud and money laundering. His lawyers had argued that the schemes were engineered without Fattah’s knowledge by two political consultants who pleaded guilty in the case. Endorses Hillary Clinton for POTUS.

    Hillary to @DavidMuir: “I should have used two accounts… I’m sorry about that, I take responsibility.”

  • When Donald Trump announced his candidacy last summer, he dedicated part of his speech to a project he’s been working at throughout his decades in public life: He proudly bragged about his wealth, declaring that his net worth was at least $8,737,540,000, adding the possibility that it may be as high as $9 billion or $10 billion.

    Fact: “The Donald Trump campaign sent its first ‘emergency’ fundraising email to supporters Saturday, seeking to raise at least $100,000 by the end of the day,” The Hill reports. “That request follows a multimillion-dollar ad blitz launched by Hillary Clinton.”

    The article quotes the solicitation: “Right now we’re facing an emergency goal of $100,000 to help get our ads on the air,” it said. “We need your contribution by 11:59 P.M.”

    Has any campaign email ever been so off-brand?

  • Haahahah–Trump Is on the Verge of Losing Even Republicans
    In a new CNN poll, nearly half of GOP voters responded that they’d prefer to see their party nominate someone else.

      • Yes Chump could drop out, the delegates at the Republican convention could change the rules to include a “vote your conscious” clause to free delegates to vote against Chump, and always remember, Chump still has to pick a running mate yet – the potential for disaster there is huge because most Republicans with any credibility wouldn’t come near the Chumpster especially know that they know his campaign is broke and they will spend most of their time raising money. I can hear in now “hello, callimg for Ms. Palin”. Bhaaaaaahh!

  • Buahahah, Trump’s campaign is almost PENNILESS!!!!!!

    Donald Trump hates disclosure: He won’t release his tax returns, asks volunteers to sign non-disclosure agreements, and fights the release of depositions. And looking at his most recent Federal Election Commission disclosure, it’s not hard to see why. The report is brutal for the presumptive Republican nominee.

    Trump closed May with just $1.3 million cash on hand. That’s down from $2.4 million at the start of the month. The campaign raised just $5.6 million, even though the Trump campaign signed a major fundraising agreement with the Republican National Committee in the middle of the month, and spent $6.7 million. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, has $42.5 million on hand, up from $30.2 at the start of the month. She spent $14 million but raised $26.4 million. That doesn’t include bodies like Priorities USA, a super PAC that is backing Clinton and has $52 million. Pro-Trump super PACs are far behind.

  • The picture of Trump with his arm extended and palm facing down is a not so subtle reference to the Nazi salute. Yes Hit ler’s salute is with the right arm and Trump is using his left but still pretty much the same gesture.

    • LOL That photo of our next President looks very Presidential. His hair really looks nice and he is waving to his many loyal backers. “Make America Great Again”

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