This journalist explains why Trump's fundraising emails reveal his barely concealed desperation

This journalist explains why Trump's fundraising emails reveal his barely concealed desperation

President of the United States Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a "Keep America Great" rally at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix, Arizona. Credit: Gage Skidmore
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For all the criticism that former Vice President Joe Biden received from the liberal/progressive wing of the Democratic Party during the presidential primary, he has had no problem with fundraising in recent months. Biden has donors all over the political spectrum, from allies of Sen. Bernie Sanders to right-wing Never Trump conservatives. President Donald Trump's campaign is well-aware of all the money that Biden's campaign has been bringing in, and a Washington Post op-ed by journalist Ben Adler describes some of the "desperate" extremes that Trump has been going to in the hope of increasing his fundraising.

"Trump's campaign blew through a once-massive fundraising advantage, spending more than $800 million of its $1.1 billion haul before early September," Adler explains. "In August, the last month for which data is available, former Vice President Joe Biden outraised Trump by $155 million. By late September, Biden had $141 million more in the bank than the president did. Not coincidentally, Trump's fundraising entreaties are becoming increasingly implausible and desperate."

Trump's fundraising pitches via e-mail, Adler notes, have been "alternating between flattery and abuse." For example, one of the president's fundraising e-mails read, "I've asked my team to pull the records of my BEST donors - our most loyal Patriots who I can always count on when I need them the most. I'm disappointed to say that when I asked for your file, they told me you showed up in the BOTTOM 1% of all Trump Supporters."

Trump's campaign, according to Adler, has been sending out that e-mail to some voters who have never supported Trump — and they can't be in the "bottom 1% of all Trump supporters" if they were never Trump supporters to begin with.

Another Trump "fundraising gimmick," according to Adler, is trying to entice voters with an "opportunity to win a free trip to meet the president." One of the Trump campaign's e-mails read, "Why haven't you entered to win a chance to meet President Trump yet? The President saw the list of Patriots who have already entered and he noticed that your name was MISSING.'"

Adler says of that e-mail, "For an all-expenses paid vacation, all you needed to do was donate — except the fine print at the bottom said you could enter the competition without donating. More important, perhaps, is that it's possible the sweepstakes will never occur, and no one will win."

Certainly, Biden's campaign hasn't been shy about bombarding e-mail users with requests for donations. But according to Adler, Biden's campaign wouldn't try to shame supporters by berating them for being in the bottom 1% of supporters.

T.J. Ducklo, a spokesperson for Biden's campaign, told Adler, "Donald Trump has years of practice swindling people out of money for businesses that he runs into the ground. His campaign is no different, bombarding supporters with messages meant to shame and scam them out of every cent."

Adler stresses that Trump not only comes across as "desperate" in his demands for donations — he also comes across as unpresidential. Such e-mails, Adler writes, "embody Trump's lifelong habit — borrowed from his career in New York's notoriously unscrupulous real estate world — of making unethical, comically dishonest pitches. In a simpler time, Republican politicians and conservative talking heads made money by selling their audience to advertisers peddling investment advice, gold or unproven cures for erectile dysfunction. Now, the huckster making dubious promises is the president himself."

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