Picking up where Bernie Sanders left off, Donald Trump attacked presidential rival Hillary Clinton on her ties to Wall Street and her reliance on special interest donors, saying she's campaigning with "blood money."
A few shaky weeks on the campaign trail for Trump culminated with the June 21 firing of his top campaign adviser, Corey Lewandowski, and the news that Clinton has been raising much more money than his campaign. According to the Federal Election Commission, the presumptive Democratic nominee had $42 million in her campaign bank -- much of it already earmarked for TV ads bashing Trump -- and another $52 million tucked away in her Super PAC, Priorities USA, as of May 31, CNN reports. Clinton also benefits from other Super PACs aligned with Democratic interests.
By contrast, Trump's campaign reportedly started June with only $1.3 million and has one Super PAC supporting him with $500,000. The eyebrow-raising fund gap has some Republicans nervous, according to CNN, and donations to the Republican National Committee haven't kept pace with the Democrats either.
In a June 22 interview, the presumptive Republican nominee told CBS's Norah O'Donnell that Clinton's prolific fundraising means she's beholden to the well-heeled donors who are financing her campaign.
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"When she raises this money, every time she raises money she's making deals," Trump said. "They're saying, 'Can I be the ambassador to this?' 'Can I do that?' 'Make sure my business is taken care of,' I mean, give me a break."
President Barack Obama similarly rewarded big campaign donors with posts in his administration. More than half of Obama's biggest donors, people who gave his campaign at least $500,000, were given jobs in his administration, the Washington Post reported. According to the newspaper, "at least 24" Obama fundraisers had been given ambassadorships in countries like Switzerland, Austria, Portugal and Finland.
Clinton's biggest donors are Wall Street firms, a fact Sanders, her rival for the Democratic nomination, kept on hammering for most of the 2016 primary. Those banks and firms will expect access and favors from Clinton in return if she becomes president, Trump said during his CBS interview.
"All of the money she's raising, that's blood money," the businessman said. "Look, she's getting tremendous amounts of money from Wall Street, she's going to take care of Wall Street. She's getting tremendous amounts of money from lots of people, she's going to take care of all those people."
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Trump said he won't owe any favors to special interest groups if he becomes president and could finance his general election campaign himself if need be.