Is Donald Trump Really Ripping Off His Small Donors?

When the most recent fundraising figures were released by the Trump campaign, this was how the New York Times covered it:

Donald J. Trump all but erased his enormous fund-raising disadvantage against Hillary Clinton in the span of just two months, according to figures released by his campaign on Wednesday, converting the passion of his core followers into a flood of small donations on a scale rarely seen in national politics.

Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee raised $64 million through a joint digital and mail effort in July, according to his campaign, the bulk of it from small donations. All told, Mr. Trump and his party brought in $82 million last month, only slightly behind Mrs. Clinton’s $90 million, and ended with $74 million on hand, suggesting he might now have the resources to compete with Mrs. Clinton in the closing stretch of the campaign.

The supporters of Trump made hay with this as an indicator that Cheeto Jesus no longer needed the support of major donors who were scared sh**less of Trump’s bizarre and erratic behavior.

>Now we have more information and it seems like the secret behind Trump’s fundraising from small donors is simply an expansion on his favorite business model, the one pioneered at Trump University, of simply cheating people out of their money.

Too bad.

As the screenshots below demonstrate, there is no option on Trump’s website to cancel monthly contributions or remove your credit card information: Once you’ve set up a donation, you may only switch from one valid credit card to another.

On Wednesday, CNN reporter Jeremy Diamond tweeted a screenshot of an email from a disenchanted Trump donor who alleged that the campaign has not returned voice message requests to cancel contributions (The identity of the alleged donor is not shown).

This is the tweet:

And it isn’t just a cooling of enthusiasm. What if your monthly budget can’t afford a regular donation to Donald Trump’s favorite charity? This, like most of Trump’s other businesses is targeted at screwing those consumers least able to afford it out of their money.

What makes this worse is that it is very unlikely that this is an accident because recurring credit card authorization is recognized as a source of abuse. Studies have found that if the recurring charge is under $30 the customer is likely to just let the charges continue rather than spend the time and effort to stop them. As it turns out, Hillary, at least, lets you stop your donations. With Trump you have to cancel your credit card to stop withdrawals. If you are surprised that the Trump campaign would be associated with defrauding donors, raise your hand. Yeah. I didn’t think so.