Monday, March 21, 2016

Did Donald Trump Loan His Campaign $250 Million?

On March 20, 2016, the Liberal America Facebook page posted a meme suggesting that Donald Trump was not self-funding his campaign.

The meme read:

"Claims to be self-funded. Borrows $250M for himself to be repaid by campaign contributors. Let that sink in."

The Liberal America Facebook Page can be found here:

So I did a search to verify the fact to see what he had borrowed from himself up to the date the meme was posted.  I found a USA Today article published on March 20, 2016 (same date of the meme) which stated:
"Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman, remains the biggest financial investor in Donald Trump, the front-running candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.
The real-estate magnate lent his presidential campaign another $6.85 million last month, bringing the total Trump-to-Trump loan amount to $24.38 million. Those investments have helped him prepare for the March primary battles and build a larger campaign staff than his remaining rivals in the GOP contest."

As far as having his campaign contributors pay back the loan, the article also says:

Trump’s total February receipts — a combination of the loans, donations from other people and the roughly $32,000 Trump gave directly to his campaign for services such as staff and rent — came to a little more than $9.2 million. That’s less than the nearly $12 million his rival Cruz raised last month.

I had heard reports that his donations from individuals since his campaign started were only about $7 million.  So I researched a little deeper to see if I could get a clearer picture of how much money was not from Donald Trump.

According to OpenSecrets, as of March 7, 2016, the Donald Trump campaign had only received a total of $7,497,985 from individual contributions both small and large. This amount is the total of all campaign contributions since Donald Trump entered the presidential race on June 16, 2015.

The USA article greatly exaggerates the claim that "Trump's total February receipts came to a little more than $9.2 million."

Trump has actually only received $7.49 million during the entire campaign run from June 2015 through March 2016 (over a 9 month period, not all in February 2016).

The OpenSecrets Donald Trump campaign data page can be found here:

In conclusion, the Liberal America meme claim is greatly exaggerated because according to USA Today, he hasn't even borrowed 10% of their $250 million claim.



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