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

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
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Washington4904125
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Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
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Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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