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Trump Could Use Donations To Pay Back ‘Self-Funding’ Loans, Campaign Says

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Trump Could Use Donations To Pay Back ‘Self-Funding’ Loans, Campaign Says

Donald Trump to use campaign funding and donations to pay back self-funding loans

Update, May 13, 2016, 12:29 pm: Ari Melber reports that Donald Trump has released the following statement: “I have absolutely no intention of paying myself back for the nearly $50 million dollars [sic] I have loaned to the campaign. This money is a contribution made in order to ‘Make America Great Again.'” To which I say: Surely, we have no reason to doubt Donald Trump’s integrity.

In March, I began reporting on a routine aspect of campaign finance law that, while perfectly boring in most election cycles, could make for some big news this time around. Back then, Donald Trump said he was “self-funding” his campaign, writing himself big checks so that he could avoid the corruptive influence of establishment fundraisers.

Of course, “self-funding” means a lot of things, and none of them applied to Donald Trump, then or now: he was accepting money in the form of small and large contributions from his supporters, he sold thousands of hats and other merchandise for a profit, and he even occasionally took money from super PACs. He also was forced to pay his own companies — his plane operator, and a few of his properties — back for services they provided his campaign.

Importantly, though, Donald Trump was loaning himself the money that he said was being used to “self-fund” his campaign. So far, Trump has loaned his campaign $36 million.

Most legitimately rich candidates for president do this: Mitt Romney loaned his campaign $44 million, in addition to taking campaign donations and help from outside groups, but he ultimately wrote off the loans, turning them into real donations to his campaign.

But Donald Trump is a con man, and something didn’t smell right. He would use his supporters’ donations, I posited at the time, to pay back the loans he had given his campaign.

Today, NBC’s Ari Melber is reporting that may end up being the case:

Asked about Trump’s loans in March, during the primaries, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told the A.P. “he is not going to repay himself.”

That was months before the campaign decided to take this outside money for the general election, however, opening up a vast new source of campaign funds.

Now, as Donald Trump adjusts his campaign funding plans as the nominee, some campaign officials are striking a more circumspect note.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s convention manager, told MSNBC it is not the campaign’s “intention right now” to use fundraising to pay back the loans.

Asked if the option is off the table, Manafort says he has not discussed the idea with Trump, and the campaign’s focus is on spending for the future.

Another campaign aide tells MSNBC the possibility of Trump using donations to pay back his loans “is not being discussed or considered.” The aide declined to say the option is definitively off the table.

It’s already established that Trump lied about “self-funding” his campaign in another way: he recently announced that he hired some big shot Wall Street Republican fundraisers to raise money for his campaign, and for the Republican National Committee, with whom he recently signed a cooperative fundraising agreement whereby Trump would, he says, fundraise for other candidates, and he in turn would have access to funds raised by the RNC.

But now, it’s even clearer that Trump may break with precedent and pay back his loans to himself — with money from donors. That’s not self-funding.

In fact, considering the billions of dollars of free media Trump has earned so far this campaign, and the hundreds of thousands he has paid his own organizations for services they’ve provided his campaign, this something else entirely: profiting off of an election.



  1. ivory69690@yahoo.com May 13, 2016

    WOW and people are surprised of this ???????/ his plan’s from the start and wait for it wait for it . plans also will be to make money off it all . when he dose his taxes and puts in for deductions of his hourly rate of $1.000 and more for all the time he has put into his clown show of running for Pres. . he dosent really want the sit just the attention . the sit dosent make him any money

  2. 11thStPopulist May 13, 2016

    More duplicity from Trump. It is what we have come to expect from the person who wrote “The Art of the (crooked) Deal.” Lie, lie, lie and the suckers will believe and follow like zombies.

    1. InGen12 May 13, 2016

      All you hear from Trump supporters is that he’s “not beholden” to anyone for financing his campaign and that’s why they like him. Idiots! I read months ago that this was his plan – to pay himself back with donations. The Donald is a stingy, greedy man (his donations equal less than .01% of his supposed net worth), he’s taken the missing $3M that he raised for the vets and it’s “not a priority of his campaign to figure out where it went”, the big banks have figured him out and refuse to do business with him, particularly since he left them holding the bag on his bankruptcies. He’s a con man, a dishonest man and it sickens me to see American following this lunatic’s ravings with their tongues hanging out.

      1. ringostarr1 May 13, 2016

        To pay himself back out of political donations was also Ted Cruz’s, John Kerry’s, and any number of other candidates idea, GROW UP already!

        1. InGen12 May 13, 2016

          The point is, Ringo, that a large part of Trump’s appeal is that he is “self-funding” his campaign so that he can’t be bought by large donors or interest groups. Guess he’s not really self-funding if he’s soliciting donations now and will use them to pay himself back.

  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth May 13, 2016

    What a lovely mess. Partisan political machinations have become so distorted as to be obscene and an affront to the notion of dignity and trustworthiness.

    “A Sucker is born every minute” is amply on display as the hapless gullible masses in America have festooned themselves with the gay livery of TRUMP detritus they have like trained seals gobbled up for purchase.

    The Great Huckster, aka Lord Fauntleroy, aka “His Lordship”, has managed to adroitly fleece so many, and with such style, in so short a period of time, as to make WC Fields wince with chagrin at having not thought of this scheme while he was alive in this realm.

    1. ringostarr1 May 13, 2016

      Aaron, stop beating around the Bush and come out and say that the Clinton duo are as corrupt or even more corrupt that Donald Trump.

      1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth May 14, 2016

        Ringo, I see that you’re quite caught up in the vortex of partisan politics like so many others, including myself.

        But, let’s just step back for a moment and objectively look at the whole panorama of the false dichotomies, e.g., republican vs democrat, black vs white, Christian vs Muslim, American vs. Russian, just to name a few.
        Our primary goal, in my opinion, is to look at this all from the perspective that “Oneness” is the reality of Creation—it’s just that that Oneness is reflected in so many ways depending on your “lenses”.

        Most people seem to pick their “glasses” based on preconceptions— some identify the truth solely as residing with “Democrat”, while others can only imagine “Republican” as the representation of Truth; some choose to prefer people who look a certain way, while others make choices of whose “favored” based on a different “look”

        In a very roundabout way, I’m trying to say that I need to divorce myself from strictly aligning with one faction or another. Both parties are corrupt, as anyone by now should clearly apprehend. Corruption is so ingrained in the fabric of America that that only a relative few can keep from being tainted by it.

        As I’ve stated numerous times, it is folly to think that we can progress using a political system that is beyond repair. The Baha’i Electoral process and the over-arching pattern of the “Baha’i Admiinstrative Order”(refer to http://www.bahai.org) is what we should investigate in order to transcend the state of divisiveness that cripples every institution in America and other man-made institutions in the world.

        So, the bottom line is to remove ourselves from “The Kingdom of Names, and focus instead on what we all as humans have in common—our humanity, and recognize the thread of spirituality that binds us all as One Family.

        I could say much more, but I’ll stop for now—and not a moment too soon.

  4. TZToronto May 13, 2016

    Trump, the GREAT businessman once sold an Atlantic City property to Merv Griffin, and he said that Griffin had made a bad deal. I’m pretty sure this was before his four casino bankruptcies. Who’s a poor businessman? A good businessman makes money with his ideas and hard work; a “successful” poor businessman makes money by cheating others out of their money.

    1. ringostarr1 May 13, 2016

      Good, bad or indifferent business practices aside, Donald J. Trump once sold the Empire State Building to a group of Japanese investors then foreclosed on the Empire State building when the Japanese investors defaulted on the loan. I have yet to hear any word about Trump foreclosing on Government backed home loans that Al Gore, Bill Clinton, or Jimmy Carter backed with the full faith and credit of the United States government.

      1. Independent1 May 14, 2016

        You are one gullible fool.

      2. HayesOose May 14, 2016

        Name *one*

  5. yabbed May 13, 2016

    One thing Trump knows is how to do is use other people’s money to his advantage. Of course he will pay himself back. Sanders is taking 20% of his campaign contributions home in his wife’s pocket as a paid consultant to the campaign. Those two goofballs have a lot in common.

    1. ringostarr1 May 13, 2016

      Paying himself back is exactly what John Kerry did when he mortgaged his wife’s residence for $7,000,000 to run for the Democrat Nomination in 2004, only 12 years ago. Man, some of you have short memories.

      1. yabbed May 13, 2016

        John Kerry did not claim to be self funding his campaign.

  6. Eleanore Whitaker May 13, 2016

    Uh…Before The Donald does this, he may want to check out why NJ Governor Jon Corzine who also claimed to “self fund” his gubernatorial election was investigated for the use of campaign donations. Next one to be investigated should be Bernie Sanders. He, of the publicly stated, $27 campaign donations that add up to $91 million part of which paid for his and Brainey Janey’s trip to Rome. That’s a No No.

  7. Hughes Hunt May 13, 2016

    This sociopath, snake-oil salesman Donald Drumpf is not fit to be president, a fraud, serial liar, cancer of big money, and the Bernie Madoff of real estate. He is nothing but a clever master con man masquerading as a populist, an egomaniac interested only in himself, to stick others with the bill, to hell with his fellow Americans, with a fascist streak of Hitler in him, an embodiment of the GOP (Greedy Obstructionist Plutocrats ) for the past 50 years that is only unraveling at the seams this year 2016. Actions speak louder than words; his claims of being a unifier belie his actions, of arrogantly having lots of practice on TV as misogynist, xenophobe, birther, master manipulator in dividing and conquering, pitting whites against non-whites, pitting Christians against Muslims, for the past 50 years on TV, perfected his intent to build a wall on border with Mexico that will be higher than the iron curtain, pledged to ban 1.6 billion Muslims of an entire religion from entry to USA, in insulting the intelligence of 325 million Americans, in whitewashing fraudulent Trump University, in not showing his tax returns so as not to publicize his 4 planned bankruptcies, by sticking others with the bill. For all of his bravado, deceit, hatred, and vitriol, he is cunning and hypocritical in exploiting his Mexican workers. Once a fraud, always a fraud. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot erase the stain of his bigotry. Like the Con Artist that Marco Rubio called him and the FRAUD & DISHONEST that Bishop Romney described him aptly, Trump’s deceit, bankruptcy , and devious tricks of discarding losses as write-offs in business are part of his game and swindle and cannot be applied in governing Americans of all nationalities: rich, poor and disabled alike..The president of a company like Trump can afford to destroy the business or dissolve it in bankruptcy to stick others with the bill but the president of a nation is an equalizer of the people regardless of their race, gender, nationality, disability, status or creed. All it takes for evil to fester is for good people to do nothing.Despite Trump’s legacy of hate, anger, violence coated with brand, gold, wealth and bluster, all his messages are devoid of substance, a bait and switch act that has blinded and conned by perfect modus operandi his Trumpanzees: a product of 50 years of planning, GOP ( Greedy Obstructionist Plutocrats) systematic income inequality, deregulation and dumbing down of the no- backbone media.

  8. pisces63 May 13, 2016

    Soon the emperor will lose his last piece of clothing. Will any of his followers have brains to ‘see’ this or call it a left wing optical illusion?

    1. ringostarr1 May 13, 2016

      I am not a Trump Supporter. Supporters are in fact athletic gear that is meant to keep the family jewels safe.

    1. ringostarr1 May 13, 2016

      All the above is a kids’ lemonade stand compared to the big bucks the Clinton’s raked in by selling out the Uranium resources of the United States to Vladimir Putin and Russia. You can read about it by clicking on the link below. Since this is reported by the New York Times newspaper, the Newspaper of Record for the United States you Liberal fools out there know it has to be correct.


      1. Otto T. Goat May 13, 2016

        Liberals don’t care about corruption as long as one espouses the correct liberal views on gays and blacks and trannies and abortion.

        1. Independent1 May 14, 2016

          More flat out lies!! Just like the NYTimes has told numerous times!!

      2. Independent1 May 14, 2016

        And the NYTimes has never been known to lie?? You’re so gullible that it’s amazing. You’d believe any lie, wouldn’t you!!!

      3. johninPCFL May 14, 2016

        How, exactly, is a Canadian company’s selling its production capacity to anyone under the control of the Clintons? Why would the US restrict a Canadian company’s ownership rights to a commodity mineral?

    2. Bren Frowick May 14, 2016

      Where there’s smoke… there’s mirrors. You’ve got nothing, strewn through the air like confetti.

  9. Robert E Lil May 13, 2016

    I am shocked the science deniers could fall for this clown

  10. johninPCFL May 13, 2016

    Do you think he’ll ever let the folks who donated to his celebration for the veterans actually just paid to rent the meeting hall in his hotel from The Donald? (Conald is a better name…)
    Meh…just let them live on in their ignorance.

    1. ivory69690@yahoo.com May 13, 2016

      he want to help those that he cowardly ran away from 4 times and on the 5th time him and daddy paid a DR. (big bucks im sure ) to get out of serving this country as he was draft dodging

    2. Independent1 May 14, 2016

      So far, veterans groups have received only about 2.9 million of the 6 million Trump received in donations. And an analysis of donations made by Trump’s foundations has shown that none of his personal money has ever been donated.

  11. DAYDREAM May 13, 2016

    In keeping with his MO in doing business he will probably pay back his loans to himself at usury interest rates.

    1. Bren Frowick May 14, 2016

      By law, he can’t earn interest on the loans. But since the cash is mostly being used to pay HIS OWN COMPANIES – air travel, hats, hotels, etc, etc -, he CAN mark everything up, and get around that little restriction.

  12. ringostarr1 May 13, 2016

    Trump is doing nothing different than Presidential Candidate John Kerry did in 2004 when the Democrat Candidate (who also claimed self-financing) took out a $7,000,000 loan against his wife Teresa’s residence. Then once the Campaign Donation$ began rolling in $enator Kerry paid-off-the-mortgage on his wife’s home. It seems like $7,000,000 has a special significance to John Kerry because the foreign built Sailing Yacht that Kerry’s wife bought him also cost $7,000,000. Well not counting the Sales Tax still owed to Kerry’s home state of Massachusetts. Therefor I think that we can safely say that John Kerry’s wife gives him a $7,000,000 annual allowance.

    1. Independent1 May 13, 2016

      Since when has it been okay for a politician to be a liar just because he can claim someone else did it before him???

    2. yabbed May 14, 2016

      Kerry never claimed that he was self funding his campaign. Candidates borrow money and candidates have to pay it back. There is nothing suspect or unseemly in what Kerry did. His good luck is having a wealthy wife. On the other hand, there’s nothing unusual about Trump repaying himself for the loans to his campaign. The issue is the misrepresentation that he is self funding the campaign and therefore is not accruing obligations to donors with special interests.

  13. ivory69690@yahoo.com May 13, 2016

    some more interesting stuff DONNY DUMP followers you be the judge is this what you want to run the USA ? im just trying to keep you all posted letting you know the what ever it is that want the highest spot in the world >>ok all you DONNY DUMP brain dead followers here’s thing you might want to look into about your hero clown >>This photo of Donald Trump and his daughter, Ivanka sitting in his lap. And he wonder’s why people keep thinking he wants to do stuff with his biological daughter. That and he said on The View, “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter perhaps I’d be dating her.” Donald Trump is sitting on a statue of parrots going at it, and he has Ivanka sitting on her lap. The photo was taken at the Mar-a-Lago estate back in 1996. This wasn’t the only time he admitted he liked his daughter’s body. On Howard Stern’s radio show, Donald said, “You know who’s one of the great beauties of the world, according to everybody. And I helped create her. Ivanka. My daughter, Ivanka She’s six feet tall, she’s got the best body.” Just last year Trump had another slip of the tongue and admitted Just last year Trump had another slip of the tongue and admitted to Rolling Stone, “Yeah, [Ivanka’s] really something and what a beauty, that one. If I weren’t happily married, and ya know, her father…” Donald Trump’s slogan is to “make America great again.” More like make America creepy again is this so called making the country great again ? this the stuff you want to tell your children about the maybe Pres . ? I DONT THINK SO

  14. ringostarr1 May 13, 2016

    The Time Line of Hillary and Bill Clinton’s selling of 1/5 of all American Uranium to the Russians. This was reported by the New York Times so i’ll leave it up to you the reader to decide how much more criminal the Clintons actually are.


    “September 2005:

    Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining financier, wins a major uranium deal in Kazakhstan [a former Republic of the USSR] for his company, UrAsia, days after visiting the country with former President Bill Clinton.


    Mr. Giustra donates $31.3 million to the Clinton Foundation.

    February 2007:

    UrAsia merges with a South African mining company and assumes the name Uranium One. In the next two months, the company expands into the United States.

    June 2008:

    Negotations begin for an investment in Uranium One by the Russian atomic energy agency, Rosatom.[Rosatom is an agency of the Russian government]


    Uranium One and former UrAsia investors make $8.65 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One investors stand to profit on a Rosatom deal.

    June 2009:

    Rosatom subsidiary ARMZ takes a 17 percent ownership stake in Uranium One.


    Investors give millions more in donations to the Clinton Foundation.[This while Ms. Clinton is a US $enator]

    June 2010:

    Rosatom seeks majority ownership of Uranium One, pending approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, of which the State Department is a member.

    [Remember the following]

    Rosatom says it does not plan to increase its stake in Uranium One or to take the company private.

    June 29, 2010:

    Bill Clinton is paid $500,000 for a speech in Moscow by a Russian investment bank with ties to the Kremlin that assigned a buy rating to Uranium One stock.

    October 2010:

    Rosatom’s majority ownership approved by Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. [Hillary Clinton is now the Secretary of State and as such she is the Chairwoman of the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States.]

    January 2013:

    Rosatom takes full control of Uranium One and takes it private. [Refer back to “Remember the following from June 2010]”

    Tell me if this time line of deceit rises to or if it exceeds Donald Trump’s shady deals?

    1. Bren Frowick May 14, 2016

      What a crock. I know you got this nonsensical timeline from breitbart, which already renders it totally lacking in credibility, but anyone with a teaspoonful of grey matter should be able to figure out that Uranium One was a CANADIAN company, not an American one. And it has long since been determined both that Clinton was only one of NINE people on ONE committee in ONE department with nothing but advisory authority, and that absolutely no evidence has ever been trotted forth by any of the conspiracy-theory-mongering idiots that she did anything on behalf of Rustom. The entire lying farce was concocted by the wing nut who wrote “Clinton Cash”, a favorite fantasy novel of wing nuts everywhere. Moreover, news flash: uranium is hardly a rare commodity. Rather more common than silver, for one. The deal did NOT give away “one fifth of American uranium”, but only current PRODUCTION capability, which again, wan’t ours to begin with, but owned by a CANADIAN company. Trump, on the other hand, is currently fighting multiple lawsuits for fraud, having run a con on thousands of people with his Trump University scam alone. His election campaign scam is just the latest in a never-ending string of scams that snake-oil salesman has been running his entire life.

    2. itsfun May 14, 2016

      Don’t you realize that Bill and Hillary are above the law and are proving it every day. She belongs in prison and so does he. Just look at the comments here, the left is doing all it can to keep her out of prison and in the White House. They won’t even admit how many lies she made, and say putting our national security at risk is no big deal.

  15. The lucky one May 14, 2016

    “It’s already established that Trump lied” That statement could be appropriately applied to nearly every statement he has ever made.

  16. yabbed May 14, 2016

    Then let’s stop the nonsensical fantasy that Trump is self funding his campaign and thus not obligated to contributors.

  17. Bren Frowick May 14, 2016

    Amazing. Trump openly lies, and contradicts himself IN THE SAME SENTENCE!

    “I have absolutely no intention of paying myself back for the nearly $50 million dollars [sic] I have loaned to the campaign. This money is a contribution made in order to ‘Make America Great Again.’”

    Is the money a LOAN, or a CONTRIBUTION: it can’t be both, as anyone with two brain cells to rub together ought to be able to understand.

    But wait! The mealy-mouthed con man has an out! He said “I have … no intention of PAYING MYSELF back”. Oh, well of COURSE not! He’ll let the benighted goobers too stupid to understand how thoroughly he’s screwing them, and who are making donations to his election-scam pay him back, instead!

  18. johninPCFL May 14, 2016

    So, in short, Trump throws parties for himself, rents his own plane to himself, rents his hotels to himself (and all of his “staffers” of course), then pays all of those bills with donations.
    He’ll pocket an extra $100 million this year off these fools, whether he wins or not.

  19. marriea May 15, 2016

    And this is a surprise, why?
    Trump can easily say the money he used to ‘finance’ his own campaign,
    is a business expense and write it off on his taxes.
    The American public, viewing this as something he is GIVING to them, and who don’t obviously understand of the small vague details in the writings of business law, because the are not used by them, just don’t get it.
    Trump is in this whole thing for himself and himself only.
    The American public loves to hear this thing about American pride that Trump like to talk about, but it is the pride for himself and his empire.
    The thing I hate the most is the media that gives Trump all of this free publicity.
    Just like in the show business world in which the media parades certain ‘stars’, Trump is a show business person in the literal sense and a con artist business person too.
    He’s the ultimate used car saleman who can sell you a known lemon and get away it.
    Had a foreign friend that said once the American public are the dumbest people in the world.
    Boy, he wasn’t lying.


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