Trump campaign spending doubles amid midterms, Russia inquiry

President Donald Trump has rapidly increased his campaign spending in recent months, pouring big sums into m...

Posted: Oct 17, 2018 5:01 AM
Updated: Oct 17, 2018 5:01 AM

President Donald Trump has rapidly increased his campaign spending in recent months, pouring big sums into massive rallies and legal bills as he stumps for imperiled congressional Republicans and confronts inquiries about Russia's interference in the 2016 election.

Trump's campaign committee spent $7.7 million between July 1 and September 30, more than double its spending during the previous quarter.

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Its legal expenses also soared in that time, accounting for $1.6 million, or about one-fifth of his campaign's total costs during the three-month period. That's the most his campaign has spent on legal bills in any quarter.

About $1.3 million of that total went to Jones Day, the firm that handles the campaign's election matters but also has represented it in connection with the investigations into Russia's election meddling.

A campaign spokesman did not respond Tuesday to an inquiry about the growing legal expenses.

A separate legal fund established to help current and former Trump campaign and administration officials pay Russia-related legal bills told the IRS this week it has paid out a little more than $130,000 to law firms. But the fund has declined to identify which individuals are benefitting from the spending.

Trump, who filed paperwork for his re-election on the day he was sworn into office, has set a blistering fundraising pace unmatched in modern politics.

His campaign and joint fundraising arms he operates with the Republican National Committee added more than $18 million to their coffers during the third quarter of the year, pushing total fundraising past the $100 million mark for an election that is more than two years away.

No president since Ronald Reagan in the early 1980s has started chasing cash so early, said Brendan Glavin of the Campaign Finance Institute, which tracks political fundraising and spending.

"In recent memory, it's totally unheard of," Glavin said.

Trump also has hit the campaign trail early, holding rallies within months of occupying the White House. Those events have intensified in recent weeks as Trump stumps for Republicans scrambling to retain their majorities in the House and Senate.

His campaign's filings with the Federal Election Commission show more than $1 million went to renting halls and arenas, "event consulting" and other costs associated with staging rallies.

Trump also is sharing some of his largesse with other Republicans. Through Sept. 30, his campaign had donated $214,000 to dozens of candidates, many of them House candidates fighting for their political lives on Nov. 6.

Trump's campaign committee started October with $35.4 million in available cash.

Glavin said the sum might not be a "game-changer" in the end for Trump, given the staggering sums Democrats already are raising for next month's midterm elections.

For instance, Democrat Beto O'Rourke, who is trying to unseat Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, raised an eye-popping $38.1 million between July 1 and September 30, the most ever by a Senate candidate in a single quarter.

Trump's current cash stockpile "isn't something a Democratic challenger wouldn't be able to overcome once the presidential campaign gets rolling," Glavin said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds110426
Madison77829
Lauderdale76569
Neshoba73945
Jones70933
Scott66312
Forrest60039
DeSoto59310
Rankin4639
Leake45512
Holmes44431
Copiah3344
Jackson31415
Attala31218
Yazoo2985
Newton2924
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Leflore28238
Lincoln28131
Wayne2803
Monroe26925
Harrison2687
Lamar2525
Lowndes2529
Pearl River21231
Pike20411
Adams20416
Warren19910
Washington1998
Lee1978
Noxubee1956
Covington1832
Bolivar16911
Jasper1684
Clarke15619
Smith15611
Lafayette1564
Kemper15611
Chickasaw14314
Coahoma1324
Clay1254
Winston1241
Carroll11911
Marion1169
Claiborne1165
Yalobusha1116
Grenada1104
Lawrence1071
Simpson1050
Sunflower963
Tate931
Hancock9012
Marshall893
Union897
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Wilkinson859
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Jefferson Davis823
Tippah7611
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Humphreys647
Tunica583
Prentiss533
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Perry513
Pontotoc493
Jefferson421
Tishomingo360
Stone320
Quitman320
Tallahatchie311
Greene301
George302
Franklin292
Alcorn191
Benton140
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

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CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
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Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
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Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
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Sumter2369
Houston2275
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Colbert1972
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Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
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Wilcox1587
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Clarke1492
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Randolph1288
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Washington746
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