One thing is obvious in Donald Trump’s new federal campaign expenditure report (pdf): His campaign is in dire financial straits. As of the start of June, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee had less than $1.3 million in cash on hand—a drop in the bucket compared to the $28 million that Hillary Clinton’s campaign raised in May alone.
A review of the May filing also shows that Trump has so far recycled more than $6 million in campaign funds back into Trump corporate products and services—including a $423,000 payment to his Mar-a-Lago club, where he delivered a Super Tuesday victory speech in March.
The campaign has also spent about $900,000 on promotional swag: mugs, signs, and the infamous “Make America Great Again” hats, representing more than 13% of total expenses.
The filing also includes a $35,000 payment made to “Draper Sterling,”—an obvious homage to the ad agency in Mad Men. According to ThinkProgress’s John Legum, the company is registered with the New Hampshire secretary of state to a Jon Adkins, with its headquarters listed as Adkins’s home address in Londonderry. A Republican consultant Legum spoke with alleged that Draper Sterling is a “front” for a man named Paul Hozer, who cofounded a medical device company with Adkins, and has been involved in several Republican political campaigns.
The Trump campaign has since responded to scrutiny in the media over the FEC filings in question with a statement. “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,” it reads. “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.”
“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,” Trump himself has said, according to the statement.
The strategy seems to be:
Step 1: Stand behind everything you do.
Step 2: ????
Step 3: Have more cash than any campaign in history.
Trump has long been dogged by allegations that he is far less rich than he claims. Tech billionaire Mark Cuban, for one, is not convinced. In a series of tweets published Tuesday (June 21), Cuban dug into the financial state of Donald Trump’s campaign:
Cuban has previously expressed interest in being either Trump or Clinton’s running mate. Presumably he’s less keen to share a ticket with Trump these days.