Before Donald Trump became the GOP nominee, he was best known for his huge empire of businesses, which includes a real estate brand, a menswear collection, and a university. Per newly released federal records, Trump the businessman and Trump the politician may not be independent: Nearly 20 percent percent of the $6.7 million the Trump campaign spent in May has gone to support his tower, restaurants, golf club, and other businesses, according to MarketWatch.
Trump's campaign was self-funded before he started taking donations last month. But the Trump brand has figured heavily in the presidential race from the beginning, with the candidate advertising his products at political events and even bringing political reporters on a tour of his golf course.
Trump is in the worst financial situation of any recent major party nominee, according to The New York Times. While Hillary Clinton has raised over $28 million in May alone, Trump only raised $3.1 million and had $1.3 million left by the beginning of June. He also has about 10 percent of the staff Clinton's hired and has not aired a TV ad since clinching the nomination, with none planned for the summer or fall.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump's former campaign manager, explained it this way to The Times: “We are leaner, meaner, more efficient, more effective. ... If this was the business world, people would be commending Mr. Trump for the way he’s run this campaign.” In fact, maybe to him, this is the business world.
The Trump campaign did not immediately return Complex's request for comment.