Investigative Group

Trump Self-Funded Much Of His 2016 Campaign, But He Hasn’t Contributed A Penny Towards His Reelection

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Andrew Kerr Investigative Reporter
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President Donald Trump frequently boasted during the 2016 primaries that he was self-funding his campaign, but Federal Election Commission records reveal he hasn’t put a penny of his own wealth into his reelection campaign.

“I don’t need anybody’s money. It’s nice. I don’t need anybody’s money,” Trump said when he launched his campaign at Trump Tower in June 2015. “I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors.”

“I don’t care. I’m really rich,” he added.

Trump, who according to Forbes is worth an estimated $2.1 billion, sold himself to primary voters during the 2016 elections as an outsider immune to the corrupting influence of lobbyists and special interest groups due to his ability to self-fund his campaign.

He frequently suggested that his Republican opponents at the time, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, were beholden to the special interest groups signing checks to their campaigns.

“They will be bombarded by their lobbyists that donated a lot of money to them,” Trump said in July 2015. “Again, Jeb raised $107 million dollars, OK? They’re not putting that money up because it’s a wonderful charity.”

Trump went as far as to publicly disavow at least nine super PACs in 2015 that were supporting his campaign, telling the groups in letters issued by his campaign counsel that they were “not authorized to use Mr. Trump’s name and likeness in connection with its fundraising activities” and that the Trump campaign didn’t “want any money, services or goods from your committee.”

Candidates for federal office are exempt from contribution limits to their own campaigns, an exemption Trump leveraged to pour $66 million of his own wealth into his 2016, campaign finance records show.

But Trump hasn’t contributed anything to his campaign since he entered the White House, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of FEC records.

FEC Public Affairs Specialist Myles Martin told the DCNF there are no regulations preventing an incumbent federal officeholder from contributing or loaning funds to their reelection campaign.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is reportedly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a month at Trump-owned properties.

And with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden opening up wide leads in polls over Trump in swing states, conservative Trump supporters have seen their cellphones blow up with fundraising messages from the Trump campaign and national Republican groups seeking their money, a result of the strategy implemented by the GOP apparatus surrounding the Trump campaign placing text-message marketing at the center of their digital strategy. (RELATED: ‘Nobody’s Getting My Money Now’: Die-Hard Trump Supporters Say They’re Fed Up With The GOP’s Text Spam)

Trump supporters previously told the DCNF that they feel insulted by the aggressive, spam-like messages from the Trump campaign and other GOP groups, which accuse them of abandoning their president if they don’t fork over their cash to Republican groups.

The Trump campaign didn’t return a request for comment.

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