We all remember where we were when we first heard the news. The day was June 21, 2016. A day not too out of the ordinary. It was just a typical, early summer day in Maryland; that is until the political world was hit with a story of such shock and magnitude it is still impossible to believe more than a week later.
I know I remember exactly where I was when I saw the campaign of Donald Trump, presumptive Republican Nominee for President of the United States, had less than $1.3 million cash on hand according to their most recent financial reports.
Hyperbole aside, this was shocking, even to people who knew Trump’s fundraising haul was not going to be very impressive. But only $1.3 million? There are several House, Senate, and former presidential candidates with more money than Trump as of right now. And the $1.3 million figure did not take into account the more than $45 million in debt the campaign had to pay back; mostly to Trump himself since he provided that money in the form of personal loans.
On June 23, two days after the FEC report, Trump announced he was forgiving these loans, meaning the campaign did not have to reimburse him. It was an attempt to assuage the nerves of supporters and donors alike and show them he was personally invested in his campaign.
Or, not so much. According to NBCNews, one week after his campaign made the announcement, the FEC has not posted any record of Trump actually doing so. In addition, Team Trump has declined every media request asking the campaign to provide them with copies of the paperwork they are legally obligated to fill out to convert his loans into contributions. In other words, Trump’s campaign has zero proof they have forgiven the more than $45 millions of loans.
Here we go again. This is yet another addition to the growing list of times our media has fallen for the ole “Trump is becoming a serious candidate” routine. As far back as March, we have heard over, and over, and over again how Trump is becoming a new candidate and pivoting towards the general election.
When does the media stop falling for this? At what point to they realize this is exactly who Donald Trump is? My esteemed colleague Jon called this “grifting like it’s never been done before.” Even that seems like an understatement.