ince the moment Donald Trump took office in 2017, he has been raising money for his reelection. But among the millions of people who have helped pour more than $1.5 billion into the Trump campaign, there’s one name you won’t find: Donald J. Trump.
America’s first billionaire president hasn’t given a single dollar to his reelection campaign, according to the latest Federal Election Commission data, which runs through October 14. If Trump doesn’t end up writing himself a check by Election Day, he will be the first billionaire presidential hopeful to make a bid for the White House without donating any money to his own campaign.
Other billionaire presidential hopefuls have spent tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars on their White House runs. One, Michael Bloomberg, spent over a billion.
Trump’s 2016 spending was more in line with previous billionaire candidates. He gave $66 million to his first White House run—about what Ross Perot Sr. spent on his 1992 presidential bid, though far less than what Bloomberg and hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer sunk into their failed attempts to unseat Trump this year.
It’s unclear why Trump, who is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, is not shelling out any money to get himself reelected. The White House and the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment. Trump could surely donate something, but he does not have unlimited cash. The president’s companies are heavily exposed to the retail real estate, travel, and high-end events sectors—areas that are being hit particularly hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. And while Forbes estimates that Trump has around $160 million in liquid investments, he will have to repay or renegotiate an estimated $900 million worth of business debt that’s coming due over the next four years.