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Is Donald Trump’s presidential bid nothing more than a “scampaign”?

Reuters/Joe Skipper
Inside Mar-A-Lago.
By Heather Timmons
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Donald Trump’s US presidential campaign has just $1.3 million in cash on hand, the latest Federal Election Commission filings (pdf, pg 2) for the month of May show—compared to $42.5 million for Hillary Clinton.

The small amount of cash on hand, coupled with his small staff (a few dozen, compared to hundreds for Clinton) has led to a new round of speculation that Trump isn’t waging a serious campaign.

Nonetheless, Trump continues to collect $75 to $1,000 donations from retirees, housewives, warehouse workers, and car dealership owners, through the Great America PAC and his own campaign.

At the same time, the campaign paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump-owned businesses (and offspring) in the first five months of 2016, according to an itemized list of disbursements.

The Mar-a-Lago club, part of Trump’s Palm Beach, Florida residence, received the most, for “facility rental/catering” fees, but many other Trump connections fared well too. This chart doesn’t include every Trump-connected payout, only some of the biggest. (Tag Air is his private airline, Eric is his son).

Trump making payments from his campaign’s funds to his own companies is nothing new—as Quartz wrote last December, about 25% of his campaign payments went to Trump-owned companies. But the most recent filings seem to have hit a nerve, perhaps because the campaign is looking shambolic, including the recent loss of its manager.

Within just a few hours after the term was coined, #Scampaign was trending on Twitter in Washington, DC.

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