Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is reportedly in the process of negotiating a joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee (RNC). The business mogul’s campaign has signaled that it will be accepting contributions from mega-donors as it gears up for the general election.
Throughout the GOP primary, Trump distinguished himself from his presidential rivals by touting that his campaign was largely self-funded and that he would not be beholden to big money interests if he were elected president.
The business mogul has loaned $36 million of his own money to his campaign, which has so far raised $48 million, according to Vox.
However, Trump’s campaign aides have estimated that he will need to raise $1 billion in order to compete with likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the general election. In order to raise such a large amount of cash, the campaign is turning to wealthy donors.
Without a well-cultivated fundraising apparatus, the Trump camp is negotiating with the RNC to form a joint fundraising committee, which would allow the business mogul to raise money for both the Republican party and his campaign, according to The New York Times.
By co-opting the RNC’s fundraising infrastructure, Trump would be giving in to the same campaign financing status quo he had railed against during the primary. The business mogul may not have a choice if he wants to raise enough money to win the general election.
"No one should underestimate how hard it would be for any nominee to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in a very short period of time," Mike DuHaime, who served as the top strategist for Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey's presidential campaign, told The Times.
Senada Adzem, a luxury real estate agent in Florida who previously worked for Trump, told Bloomberg Politics that the business mogul will turn to "new money" donors who frequent his clubs and resorts.
“They’re self-made, multi-millionaires and billionaires and they’re all willing to host fundraisers for him,” Adzem said. “Many of them were afraid that if they’d publicly support Donald Trump it would be a target on their back. That changes since he’s the presumptive nominee.”
Josh Stewart, spokesperson for campaign finance watchdog group Sunlight Foundation, told Vox that this new strategy could backfire for the business mogul.
“He’s done a complete 180,” Stewart said. “A central part of Trump’s campaign for the nomination was that he was not bought and paid for and would self-fund his campaign … but I think he’s now looking at the reality of the general election and going back on a significant promise.”
Trump confidante and adviser Roger Stone told The Times that the business mogul will not be compromised by accepting big money contributions.
“Donald Trump knows Wall Street will pay both sides,” Stone said. “Why shouldn’t he take their money to beat Hillary? They are going to find out you can’t co-opt Donald Trump.”