WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s presidential campaign is building a finance operation that will raise money for the general election, two people familiar with the plan said.
The finance team will seek to raise money for the Trump campaign directly, as well as under the auspices of a joint fundraising committee, or JFC, with the Republican National Committee, once both sides settle on the terms of the venture.
“I’ll be putting up money, but won’t be completely self-funding, as I did during the primaries,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview confirming his decision.
Top aides suggested he would need to raise about $1 billion to take on expected Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. The much-needed funds will come with certain political risk for Trump, whose political ascent was largely built upon his argument that he self-funds his campaign and therefore is not beholden to anyone.
“The fact of the matter is that if Trump’s campaign committee participates in a JFC, Trump is raising private funds – because his committee will receive a portion of the funds raised by the JFC,” said Paul Seamus Ryan, deputy executive director of the Campaign Legal Center. “To the extent Trump is raising funds for a JFC, he’s not self-financing. JFC money is all private donor money.”
Despite some conflicting emotions about their controversial new presumptive nominee, Republicans are already lining up to open their wallets to help the billionaire businessman.
“I want to have a huge fundraiser for him down here in Greensboro. We can’t have Hillary,” said Nancy Dewitt Pickard, a wealthy North Carolina Republican who first backed Ben Carson for president. “All they have to do is call. The RNC, his campaign, anyone.”
Trump’s senior advisers have been meeting with national party officials this week to negotiate a joint fundraising committee, which would make it easier for donors to give big money. Details of the arrangement, including how the money will be divvied up to Trump’s campaign and GOP organizations around the country, were still being ironed out on Wednesday, RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said.
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