Wednesday, March 9, 2016
WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump says he has spent $30 million so far running for president, and his campaign manager says he's never getting that money back.
As Trump brags about "self-funding" his surging Republican bid, he has been lending – rather than giving – money to his campaign. That has raised the question of whether his self-funding pledge has strings attached. Would he ever raise donor money to pay himself back?
Not a chance, says campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
"He is not going to repay himself," Lewandowski said in an interview this week with The Associated Press.
Trump, it turns out, is following the standard practice of wealthy candidates who use their own money for presidential campaigns, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.
Just like Trump in 2016, Jon Huntsman in 2012, Mitt Romney in 2008 and Steve Forbes in 1996 each made multimillion-dollar loans to their presidential campaigns, which they never repaid.
"All campaign lawyers advise candidates to do these things as loans. I certainly do," said Ben Ginsberg, a longtime Republican campaign attorney. That's because once a candidate hands over a personal check as a contribution, there's no way to ever recoup the money. "They'd all like to get paid back, if possible," Ginsberg said.