NEW YORK, June 22 (UPI) — Days after elections filings showed Hillary Clinton holding a staggering lead over Donald Trump in campaign cash headed into June, Trump’s top fundraiser said the candidate raised $19 million last month for a joint campaign account with the Republican National Committee.
The Wall Street Journal reports Trump raised the money through a series of big-donor events in New York and Texas.
Filings with the Federal Elections Commission showed Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, raised $28 million in May for her campaign to Trump’s $3.1 million. She entered June with $42 million cash-on-hand to Trump’s $1.3 million, which, by presidential campaign standards, meant his operation was nearly broke.
Trump fundraising chairman Steve Mnunchin said the disparity was due to the fact Trump, who largely funded his own primary campaign, got a late start at building out a major national fundraising effort.
Mnunchin said he was pleased with the $19 million raised, given the fundraising operation has only been running for a few weeks.
Trump only sent out his first email solicitation for campaign donations — a regularity for modern federal campaigns — on Tuesday.
In the email, Trump pledged to match up to the first $2 million in donations himself.
Put another way, Trump was poised to loan his campaign an additional $2 million, nearly doubling the amount of cash he had in the bank at the beginning of the month, even without any donations. FEC filings showed Trump loaned his campaign $2.2 million in May, as well.
In a follow-up email to supporters, Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., said they hit the $2 million goal in just 12 hours. The follow-up included another solicitation, asking supporters to help stop “crooked Hillary.”
The $19 million generated for Trump’s joint RNC account, Trump Victory, will largely go to the national party, officials told the Journal, citing administrative reasons.
The joint account, which includes Trump’s own campaign account, the RNC, and 11 state parties, allows big-ticket donors to write much larger checks than the $2,700 individual campaign contribution limit.
Trump Victory can accept checks of up to $449,400 and once given, the money can be distributed to any of the associated accounts in different amounts. Trump Victory transferred $3 million to the RNC at the end of May and no money to Trump’s campaign account, the Journal reported.
The news of the campaign filings earlier this week prompted a sarcastic response on Twitter, where the hashtag #TrumpSoPoor began trending, with users lambasting the presumptive Republican nominee for his dismal financial showing.
Trump responded to the criticism saying fundraising numbers were irrelevant because he has the personal wealth to fund his campaign if he so chooses.