The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Trump tops $100 million in fundraising for his own reelection

President Trump speaks at a rally  in Richmond, Ky., on Saturday.
President Trump speaks at a rally in Richmond, Ky., on Saturday. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

President Trump has topped $100 million in fundraising for his 2020 reelection bid — an enormous haul for a president barely two years into his first term, according to new Federal Election Commission filings.

Trump pulled in $18.1 million last quarter through his campaign committee and two joint fundraising committees with the Republican National Committee, for a total of at least $106 million since January 2017, according to federal filings made public Monday evening.

Together, all three committees ended September with $46.7 million in cash on hand, filings show.

No other president dating back to at least Ronald Reagan had raised any money at this point for his own campaign committee, according to the Campaign Finance Institute, a nonpartisan research group. Unlike his predecessors, Trump began fundraising for his reelection shortly after his 2016 win.

Trump continues to be buoyed by an avid small-donor base. FEC filings show 56 percent of the total raised by his committees from July through September came from donations of $200 or less.

Despite his haul, Trump was not the biggest fundraiser last quarter. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic challenger to GOP incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz in Texas, reportedly raised more than twice as much, pulling in $38.1 million — a quarterly fundraising record for a Senate campaign.

Lara Trump, senior adviser to the Trump campaign, said in a statement that the campaign hopes to see its grass-roots supporters “and millions more like them to get out and vote in the midterms so President Trump can continue to build on his agenda with even greater success for the forgotten men and women of this great country.”

Trump’s campaign committee spent $7.7 million last quarter, including $1.6 million on online advertising paid to a company called American Made Media Consultants. The entity is controlled by campaign officials and designed to serve as a clearinghouse for advertising purchases, the New York Times reported Monday.

Trump campaign committee saw a surge in legal fees last quarter after a decline in such payments in the first half of the year. Between July and September, the campaign paid $1.6 million in legal fees, with $1.3 million going to Jones Day, which represents the campaign in the investigations by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and several congressional committees into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The campaign also doled out a total of $214,000 in $2,000-a-piece donations to 107 Republican candidates, including GOP incumbents running in some of the most competitive House districts this fall.

Separately, a fund set up to help pay legal expenses incurred by Trump aides drawn into the Russia investigation raised about $150,000 in the third quarter of 2018, bringing the total money raised for the fund to $350,000, according to a new filing with the Internal Revenue Service.

Almost all the money the fund raised from July through September came from Anthony Lomangino, founder of a recycling company and GOP donor, who has been identified in press reports as a member of Mar-a-Lago, the president’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla.

The fund paid legal consulting fees in the third quarter to Schertler & Onorato LLP and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.