With Democrats raising money at unprecedented rates, the GOP know that they need to pull out all the stops. Donald Trump took the step of emailing his millions of followers promising to match their donations up to $3 million. Now it looks like Trump was making at best, a misleading claim.
The email, obtained by The New York Times’ Kenneth Vogel read: “I WILL NOT LET THE DEMOCRATS WIN! Which is why I’m now going ALL IN to defeat them. I AM MAKING A TRANSFER TO MATCH $3 MILLION WORTH OF GRASSROOTS DONATIONS TO DEFEAT THE DEMOCRATS IN JUST 14 DAYS.”
UPDATE: The TRUMP campaign tells me that @POTUS is NOT going to donate any of his own $ to his campaign, despite emailing donors asking them to "make a contribution of $5 … & I will MATCH it dollar-for-dollar."
Apparently that refers to him transferring DONOR $ to the RNC. pic.twitter.com/dGjoG1GXht
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) October 24, 2018
The email seems like a pretty straightforward plea to GOP donors. While a sitting President matching donations would be unprecedented, Trump is hardly a normal President.
It turns out the match would not come out of Trump’s own pocket. When Vogel reached out to the Trump campaign, he was told, “Trump is not going to donate any of his own money. Apparently, the match would come from dollars donated to the Trump campaign being transferred to the GOP.”
This is not the first time Trump has faced controversy regarding promised donations. While campaigning for the Republican nomination, Trump refused to appear at a debate instead holding a telethon to raise money for veteran’s groups.
Trump has claimed that $5.6 million was raised, but NBC News found that only $3.8 million had been distributed. Shortly after being called out by the media, an additional $1 million was donated. Following the donation, Trump said, “The press should be ashamed of themselves.”
Trump also received massive donations for his inauguration. Trump’s inauguration committee raised an astonishing figure of $106 million. The amount doubled what Barack Obama had previously raised.
The accounting of the event shows that not all of the money was spent on the inauguration. Apparently this was an important part of Robert Mueller’s questioning of Rick Gates. Exactly what became of the overage may not be known until Mueller releases his report.