Donald Trump lagged far behind Hillary Clinton when it came to fundraising during the month of May, the month he was declared the Republican party’s presumptive nominee and began to solicit money from the party’s high-dollar donors.
Trump raised just $3.1 million during the month, and he loaned his campaign an additional $2.2 million, according to the latest filings from the Federal Election Commission.
By contrast, Clinton raised $26 million, including $5.8 million from a joint committee with state and national parties.
When it comes to cash on hand, the gap is even more pronounced: Trump’s campaign reported $1.3 million, and Clinton’s campaign reported $42.5 million.
Trump has touted his ability to successfully run a much leaner campaign than his opponents during the primaries, as well as his ability to self-fund his race.
But his fundraising numbers are on par with Senate or even congressional candidates at this point in the election cycle. His expenditures included more than $200,000 on hats, according to the reports.
Throughout his race Trump has collected contributions individual donors, but May was the month that he started raising money from high-dollar financiers via Trump Victory, a joint committee that raises for his campaign, the Republican National Committee and state parties.
The Trump Victory kickoff event was on May 25 at the Los Angeles home of Thomas Barrack, the CEO of Colony Capital. In an interview with CNN on Monday, Trump’s now former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said that the event raised $6 million to $8 million, and that fundraising has picked up greatly since then. “The money is pouring in,” he said, noting that the bulk will go to the RNC to pay for campaign infrastructure. Lewandowski was fired from the campaign earlier Monday.
Barrack was among the high-dollar donors to the RNC during the period, along with Guess Jeans co-founder Paul Marciano, nightclub mogul Sam Nazarian, and Southern California developers Donald Bren, Geoff Palmer and Doug Manchester. Steven Mnuchin, whose Dune Entertainment has been co-financing Warner Bros. releases, serves as national finance chair.
Update: Trump’s campaign released a statement, noting that the “month of June represents the first full month of fundraising activity for the campaign and this will be reflected in the June FEC report. The campaign held its first campaign fundraising event on May 25th, 2016.”
“To date, the campaign’s fundraising has been incredible and we continue to see a tremendous outpouring of support for Mr. Trump and money to the Republican Party. The positive response to our fundraising efforts so far is a further indication that the country does not want yet another corrupt politician like Crooked Hillary.”
Trump said in a statement, “If need be, there could be unlimited “cash on hand” as I would put up my own money, as I have already done through the primaries, spending over $50 million dollars. Our campaign is leaner and more efficient, like our government should be.”
Clinton’s campaign needled Trump over disclosures that his expenses included multiple payments to Trump companies for providing services or rentals to the campaign, including Mar-a-Lago resort, which was paid $423,372. Companies are prohibited from making in-kind contributions to campaigns, so all expenditures have to be reported.
“What is Trump spending his meager campaign resources on? Why, himself, of course,” Clinton’s campaign tweeted.