The reelection campaign of President Donald Trump is in serious financial trouble, and it appears things are getting worse by the day.
HuffPost reports that it has looked at filings by the campaign with the Federal Elections Commission and found that campaign manager Bill Stepien has had to take a 33 percent pay cut — $5,000 a month — because the Trump 2020 team is running dangerously low on cash:
“Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien appears to have taken a 33% pay cut ― $5,000 a month — when he accepted his promotion this summer, another sign of money trouble for a campaign that spent over $1 billion only to have the incumbent president behind in the polls.
“Stepien had been deputy campaign manager before he moved up to the top job on July 15 — the day before his firm received $10,000 rather than the $15,000 it had been getting monthly since December 2018.”
Ouch! That’s got to be painful and humiliating for a campaign that was once rolling in money but has reportedly burned through as much as $800,000 in recent months, leading to a cancellation of television ads in some markets, including key battleground states where Trump is already trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
Veterans of other campaigns noted that the slashing of Stepien’s pay is the surest sign yet that the Trump 2020 campaign is in total disarray fiscally:
“’That’s a humiliating blow,’ said Rick Wilson, a longtime Florida GOP consultant and Trump critic.
“’Plainly, they have big money problems and I am guessing Stepien cut his own salary as a prelude to cutting others,’ said David Axelrod, the Democratic strategist behind former President Barack Obama’s successful 2008 campaign. ‘They made a big bet that they could invest early in building a small-dollar digital universe to compete with the Democrats that would pay off late. Well, now it’s late, and they seem to be low on cash..”
However, Trump himself and his company, the Trump Organization, are doing just fine, despite the cash crunch that has led to Stepien taking a salary reduction:
“A HuffPost analysis of FEC filings shows that from the time he took office through July 31, Trump’s various businesses — from his golf courses to his bottled water company — have taken in $6,979,984 from the Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and their two joint fundraising committees.”
Polls show Trump remains behind Biden by a significant margin, most notably in the all-important battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which provided a major portion of Trump’s electoral victory in 2016.
Wilson said it appears the lavish spending by the Trump 2020 team has finally caught up with them, and that he believes the president himself may have gotten fleeced by his staff:
“Don the Con got conned. Trump got played by all these people who are making a killing off of this.”
How’s that for some sweet irony?