WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump opened his reelection campaign the day he took office in 2017, and so far has raised over $1.2 billion — but apparently has so little on hand that he is still holding in-person fundraisers with less than three weeks to go before Election Day.
Trump is hosting a reception at his Doral golf course on Thursday evening, with requested donations ranging from $5,000 per person to $100,000 per couple.
The choice of location also means Trump will be able to funnel at least tens of thousands of those dollars raised back into his own cash registers through room rental and catering fees.
A HuffPost analysis of Federal Election Commission filings shows that Trump’s campaign and committees under his control have already spent $1,368,579 at his financially troubled golf resort near Miami’s airport since he became president.
By this late in a presidential race, candidates — particularly incumbents ― have typically finished time-consuming in-person fundraising and are concentrating on campaigning.
“We need the money,” said one top Republican close to Trump’s White House.
Trump’s campaign and his Republican National Committee together raised $1,204,635,527 from January 2017 through Aug. 31, according to the latest FEC reports available, but spent $1,007,132,863.
Trump’s campaign has spent lavishly on salaries and fees for its top officials and consultants. It has also funneled a total of $7 million back to Trump’s various businesses and has been secretly paying the girlfriend of one Trump son and the wife of another $15,000 a month, keeping those payments off of FEC records where they can be seen by donors and the public.
The Biden campaign and Democratic National Committee have been able to match and exceed Trump’s fundraising pace since Joe Biden won the Democratic nomination, and entered the final two months with a $141 million “cash on hand” advantage.
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