President-elect Donald J. Trump struggle to raise money against Hillary Clinton was well documented throughout the election cycle (Clinton’s camp raised at least $500 million in total, Trump struggled to reach $100 million). It now appears Mr. Trump’s finances may not be in the best of shape as he prepares to wade into a job that will pay him a fixed $400,000 per year.
His campaign chairman and counsel, Kellyanne Conway, will hold a private fundraiser Thursday in Buffalo, intended to cover the costs of Trump’s transition team. Conway will speak at the Westin Buffalo hotel, according to local NPR affiliate WBFO radio. Seats cost $5,000 each.
Congressman Chris Collins, a Trump advocate since the early Mexican rapist days of the campaign, told the station that the billionaire has “struggled to raise private funds needed to pay these individuals who are working on behalf of the taxpayers but not being paid by the government.”
To rehash: the billionaire who brags that his successful businesses led many Americans to – at least in part – vote for him, has been somehow unable to find cash to pay the people who are helping him figure out how to be president.
There are no publicly available details about the financial condition of Trump’s private business empire at any given moment, but certainly this isn’t a good sign.
Times like these almost make you feel sorry for Mr. Trump. He is, at least to some extent, going to be pressured into relinquishing control over his family business for the rest of his life. In place of his namesake free-wheeling international real estate conglomerate, Trump will inherit a boundlessly complex and troubled economy, beset by stagnant wages and growing disparity between elites and the middle class. The diplomatic situation is no easier and will likely command long restless hours of meetings and consternation. On top of that, he must leave behind a modern sleek skyscraper penthouse for a two-century old home.
Talk about roughing it, scraping together money one $5,000 dinner plate at a time. At least Ms. Conway knows how to make a speech.