The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Donald Trump says he gave most of his debate opponents campaign money. He didn’t.

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This post has been corrected.

During the Fox News debate, Donald Trump repeatedly bragged about having given his opponents campaign money in the past. At one point, several chimed in to say that they'd never gotten those checks.

In fact, they haven't. Politifact tabulated Trump's political giving, allowing us to quickly compare his donations to his opponents.

And Trump, not for the first time, exaggerated a bit.

Jeb and Walker. That's it. To the tune of $10,500.

If he'd been in the warm-up forum a few hours earlier, he would actually have had more of a leg to stand on. We scaled these graphs to $50,000 because that allows us to fit his giving to George Pataki.

It makes sense that he'd give heavily to Pataki, of course. It fits with his argument that he's given money to politicians who can facilitate his business interests; Pataki was governor of Trump's home state of New York for three terms.

But, awkwardly for Trump -- and as point out by Rand Paul at the outset -- Trump also gave money to eventual participants in the first Democratic debate (even if that doesn't include Biden).

Trump spent a lot of money on a lot of politicians. In this case, those donations didn't do him much good.

This post originally left off a donation to Scott Walker's gubernatorial campaign. I regret the error.