Donald Trump signs autographs for a group of supporters after a rally in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday.

Donald Trump signs autographs for a group of supporters after a rally in Richmond, Va., on Wednesday. Steve Helber/AP

Donald Trump’s Donors, Not His Own Money, Fueled His Magic Summer

The candidate spent just $100,000 of his own money for his summer campaign.

The man who claims $10 bil­lion in wealth barely spent any of his own money on his front-run­ning pres­id­en­tial race this sum­mer, as tens of thou­sands of Amer­ic­ans pitched in with $3.8 mil­lion – enough to cov­er nearly all his ex­penses.

Some 2,200 donors gave at least $200 to Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign over the three month-peri­od, total­ing over $1 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to Fed­er­al Elec­tion Com­mis­sion fil­ings. The cam­paign said an ad­di­tion­al 72,000 donors com­bined to give Trump $2.8 mil­lion, or an av­er­age $38.73 each.

Trump lent him­self $1.8 mil­lion earli­er this year, but over the sum­mer gave his cam­paign just $100,000. That plus the con­tri­bu­tions came close to pay­ing the $4.2 mil­lion in ex­penses he racked up in that peri­od.

“While our ori­gin­al budget was sub­stan­tially high­er than the amount spent, good busi­ness prac­tices and even bet­ter ideas and policy have made it un­ne­ces­sary to have spent a lar­ger sum,” Trump said in a pre­pared state­ment. “To be num­ber one in every poll, both state and na­tion­al, and to have spent the least amount of dol­lars of any ser­i­ous can­did­ate is a test­a­ment to what I can do for Amer­ica.”

The total dona­tions dur­ing the three months that ended Sept. 30 rep­res­ent an eight-fold in­crease in pace from what he re­ceived from donors in his first fil­ing peri­od. Then, he took in just $92,000 in the fi­nal two weeks of June after he entered the race.

Trump’s $4.2 mil­lion in spend­ing is three times what he re­por­ted in his first FEC re­port. Like in that one, however, fuel and oth­er op­er­at­ing costs for the 757 jet­liner he flies around in was again the single biggest ex­pense: $723,426.

He also re­por­ted spend­ing $697,529 on T-shirts and hats, $201,072 to rent email lists from the con­ser­vat­ive web­site News­max, and $60,000 on Green Mon­ster Con­sult­ing, the firm owned by his cam­paign man­ager, Corey Le­wan­dowski.

His cam­paign re­por­ted it had $255,000 in the bank head­ing in­to Oc­to­ber, but the fig­ure in Trump’s case is largely mean­ing­less, as he could at any time write him­self an­oth­er sev­en-fig­ure check. (Al­though his ac­tu­al net worth is likely con­sid­er­ably less than $10 bil­lion.) Trump has said he is pre­pared to spend $1 bil­lion to win the pres­id­ency.