Donald Trump says he will dramatically ramp up donations in final stretch of campaign

Story highlights

  • Trump has given less than $60 million since the beginning of the race
  • "We are going to have, I think, a tremendous victory," Trump said

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump told CNN Wednesday he is prepared to open up his wallet and donate considerably more to his campaign in the closing days of the race.

He claimed that by Election Day, he will have spent $100 million. Federal Election Commission records through September, however, show Trump has given far less to his campaign so far. The GOP nominee nevertheless paraded the fact that he remained competitive in the race despite being heavily outspent on advertising.
"I will have over $100 million in the campaign, and I'm prepared to go much more than that," he told CNN's Dana Bash outside of his new hotel in Washington, D.C., declining to offer an exact figure. "In the old days, you'd get credit: If you would spend less money and have victory, that would be a good thing. Today, they want you to spend money."
Trump also said he was confident of victory next month despite poll numbers showing him lagging behind Hillary Clinton.
"We are going to have, I think, a tremendous victory," he said. "If I didn't think that, I wouldn't say it."
Trump has given less than $60 million since the beginning of the race, records show, and his contributions have slowed considerably since he won the GOP nomination. He would have to have given more than $40 million over the final five weeks of the campaign to meet that number.
Trump's personal giving will become clearer Thursday, when his contributions from October 1 to October 19 will be revealed.
Donations after that date will not become public until December.
Trump has long been under pressure from allies and top fundraisers to give more to Trump Victory. CNN is told that earlier this month, Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus asked him to put more of his own money into his campaign to better compete for advertising.
A source familiar with the conversation said Trump did not do as Priebus asked.
Many Republicans who believe that Trump has a good shot at beating Clinton have expressed dismay that they have been at a disadvantage in advertising, especially as polls appear to be tightening. Trump raised money for the RNC as part of a joint fundraising agreement, but the party has said even before Trump became the nominee that it would not run ads.
The Trump ads would now cost much more than if they had been purchased in advance, even though he would receive the lowest possible rate under the laws.
Trump also denied that his event Wednesday celebrating the hotel was an attempt to secure free advertising for the building, saluting the construction project as a model for building the country. He defended the break from the typically busy rally schedule to attend the event, at which his four children attended.
"For you to ask me that question is actually very insulting because Hillary Clinton does one stop, and then she goes home and sleeps," he said. "I want to back my children."