WASHINGTON (AP) – Donald Trump says he raised $51 million for his campaign and allied Republicans in recent weeks – a dramatic uptick from his May numbers but less than likely Democratic presidential opponent Hillary Clinton’s June haul.
Trump previewed his latest fundraising numbers Tuesday night on Twitter by writing, “Raised a lot of money for the Republican Party. There will be a big gasp when the figures are announced in the morning. Lots of support! Win.”
Clinton raised almost $70 million in June for her campaign and Democratic partners, her campaign announced last week, an amount that included about $40 million that went directly into her campaign coffers.
In a release, Trump says his campaign raised $26 million online in the month of June, a small portion of which will go to the RNC, per a fundraising agreement. Additionally, Trump and the RNC raised $25 million during 22 events in June and the final week of May, the release said.
Trump’s campaign did not immediately clarify how much money came in one month versus the other, or how much went to his campaign versus Republican committees.
Regardless, the recent fundraising is a marked improvement from May, when Trump’s campaign raised a little over $3 million from donors and the RNC pulled in about $11 million, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
The Clinton campaign’s direct access to cash has enabled it to spend tens of millions of dollars more than Trump to build up voter contact operations and advertisements ahead of the November election. For example, Clinton’s campaign has aired more than 22,000 commercials in battleground states in the past month, according to Kantar Media’s campaign advertising tracker. Trump’s campaign has aired zero.
While Clinton and her allies have consistently said they seek to raise as much money as possible to help win the election, Trump has a shape-shifting approach to political fundraising.
The billionaire businessman began his quest for the White House largely by paying his own way – and disparaging his Republican competitors as beholden to big donors. Trump lent his campaign almost $50 million during the primary and said he will forgive those loans and convert them to a personal campaign contribution. He gave another $3.8 million in recent weeks, the campaign said.
Yet as the general election contest began this spring, Trump said he would rely on the same kinds of donors he had previously called puppeteers. Ever since, his campaign and Republican partners have been working furiously work to raise money even as he has seemed dismissive of its importance.
“I don’t even know why I need so much money,” Trump said last week at a campaign rally in Bangor, Maine. “You know, I go around, I make speeches, I talk to reporters. I don’t even need commercials, if you want to know the truth.”
Earlier that same day he’d been in Boston raising money – one of at least a dozen personal appeals he made to rooms full of donors during the month of June.