Last Thursday, Donald Trump’s campaign, in an attempt to show Trump would not take advantage of his donors, announced that he would forgive $45 million in personal loans he made to his campaign. It sounded like a done deal; Trump’s national finance chairman, Steve Mnuchin, told CNBC, “[Trump] loaned $50 million to the campaign. He’s now forgiven that loan. So that is a contribution. [Trump] has also said he will contribute significantly more money. We just forgave the loan this week.” Trump’s campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks echoed to the Wall Street Journal that Trump was submitting formal paperwork.
Not so fast there, Steve and Hope.
NBC News is reporting that the FEC has posted no record of Trump converting his loans to donations; a member of the FEC told NBC that no filing has been made altering the status of Trump’s loans. FEC’s candidate tracking page has no record of documents from Trump changing his loans.
When they were asked to show the documents required to execute the transaction, the Trump Campaign refused to do so. Hicks told NBC that the documents “will be filed with the next regularly scheduled FEC report.”
The problem with Trump delaying the action is that in the meantime, he has the option to legally use new donations to reimburse himself all the way into August.
But Trump has until July 20 to make good on his promise; the next FEC deadline occurs on that date. Michael Toner, former FEC Chairman, explained, “It would be disclosed on the campaign’s next FEC report.”
When they were asked to show the documents required to execute the transaction, the Trump Campaign refused to do so.
It’s not as though the procedure is complicated; Trump merely has to sign a statement and acknowledge the alteration in the FEC report. Mitt Romney forgave the loans he made to his campaign in April 2011.
Trump has a history of being reluctant to give money away that he has promised; it took four months for him to make good on his statement that he had given $1 million to veterans, and that seemingly happened only because a Washington Post reporter began investigating whether Trump had indeed donated the money.