Trump, trailing Clinton in cash, aims to boost fundraising

A maximum of $2,700 per donor is allowed to go to the Trump campaign, with the rest going to the Republican Party.

Published: 22nd June 2016 09:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd June 2016 09:56 PM   |  A+A-


Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump (L) and his likely general election opponent Hillary Clinton (R). |AP


WASHINGTON: Billionaire Donald Trump attended a New York reception early Wednesday aimed at raising funds for his presidential campaign, as he seeks to narrow the massive financial advantage enjoyed by rival Hillary Clinton.

The presumptive Republican nominee, whose recent paltry campaign finance figures sounded an alarm about Trump's preparedness for a gruelling general election battle, held a closed-door $25,000-per-plate breakfast at Italian restaurant Le Cipriani for major donors, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A maximum of $2,700 per donor is allowed to go to the Trump campaign, with the rest going to the Republican Party.

On Tuesday, Trump pledged to "personally" match supporters' donations dollar for dollar for the next 48 hours, up to $2 million total.

The fundraising push follows Trump's and Clinton's latest filings to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), which showed the former secretary of state's campaign had $40 million more in cash on hand than Trump's.

"I have a lot more than $40 million if I want to use my own money," Trump told Fox News on Wednesday.

"I think our next numbers are going to be quite good. But, more importantly, I don't to want raise billions of dollars."

Trump has repeatedly knocked political rivals for being beholden to mega-donors.

"So, I can do it for much, much less and, I think, win," he added.

His style of campaign financing has been unconventional. He has so far lent his campaign $45.7 million.

He is entitled to raise money from supporters to have those funds reimbursed, but he told MSNBC in May that he had "absolutely no intention of paying myself back."

A substantial amount of Trump's campaign expenses -- about 20 percent in the month of May -- is being shifted back to his own businesses, the New York Times reported, citing campaign finance filings and the paper's review of the 1,699-page Trump campaign declaration to the FEC.

For example, the campaign paid $423,000 for the use of Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, where he has held several press conferences.

Payments were also made to the company managing Trump's fleet of aircraft which he has used to criss-cross the nation ($350,000), to Trump Restaurants ($125,000) and to Trump Tower ($170,000), his New York headquarters where his campaign rents office space.

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