One of the major stumbling blocks in Donald Trump’s ability to raise money from deep-pocket donors, other than his lethal combination of sloth and arrogance, has been his carrying as a “loan” to his campaign some $50 million. By carrying it as a loan rather than a contribution, Trump would be legally able to take the money other people give him in order to pay himself back. Many rich people are understandably reluctant to put their money, money which they intended to support Trump’s campaign, into the gaping, insatiable maw that Donald Trump calls a pocket.
Only a week ago, the Trump campaign made a huge announcement that he had converted that debt into a contribution. My colleague, Susan Wright, posted on the announcement and she speculated, as did most of the RedState contributors, that Trump was, in fact, lying. If he claimed to convert the debt to a contribution… which is literally as hard as checking off a single box on one FEC report… he could collect contributions leading up to the convention, pocket them before the next report, and then confront the GOP with a broke campaign that they had to fundraise for. In other words, we were speculating that this was the quintessential Trumpian con wrapped in a scam wrapped in a deception.
When Donald Trump said last Thursday he was forgiving over $45 million in personal loans he made to his campaign, the announcement drew plenty of coverage. Many even reported Trump’s statement as if the deal was done.
But it’s not.
A week later, NBC News has learned the FEC has posted no record of Trump converting his loans to donations. The Trump Campaign has also declined requests to share the legal paperwork required to execute the transaction, though they suggest it has been submitted.
In his most recent FEC filing, which posted June 20, Trump treated all his spending on the campaign as loans.
An FEC staff member tells NBC News there is no new filing changing Trump’s loans. The FEC’s candidate tracking page, which posts filings, does not show new paperwork from Trump changing his loans.
Ultimately, if Trump declines to release any proof for claiming he forgave the loans, the rubber will hit the road on July 20, the next FEC filing deadline.
When does the GOP convention kick off? July 18. By the time the FEC report is released, Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee.
This is no different that the way Trump acted in regards to his “contribution” to veterans charities, or charities in general. He claims to give and doesn’t follow through with action unless, as in the case of the veterans fundraising scam, he is caught and shamed into doing it.