Donald Trump Stiffs Own Pollster For $767,000, You Know How This Headline Ends
Raise your hand if you're surprised. Yeah, thought so.
In news that may come as a complete surprise to newly arrived visitors from another galaxy, Donald Trump's campaign is trying to skip out on paying over three-quarters of a million dollars to a pollster it hired in May. The Trump campaign brought on pollster Tony Fabrizio in one of its sporadic efforts to act like a normal presidential campaign, but its most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission shows it doesn't want to pay Fabrizio's bill. Bet there's a really good reason for that, huh?
Trump campaign officials declined to provide details about the reason the campaign has declined to pay the sum to Fabrizio Lee, the pollster's Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based firm. “This is an administrative issue that we're resolving internally,” said senior communications adviser Jason Miller. Fabrizio did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
For a hugely successful businessman, Donald Trump seems to have a serious problem with paying his bills. Yeah, we're just as surprised as you are!
It looks like part of the reason for this latest enshaftening is personal grudginess: Fabrizio has long worked closely with long-gone former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, who left the campaign in August to spend more time with Eastern European oligarchs. And brand-new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was herself a pollster, so why would Trump need two of those hanging around, one of whom was an ally of an unperson? The Washington Post also notes that Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner reportedly rejected Fabrizio's advice, which probably included unrealistic suggestions like "try not to be a racist" and "go back in time and stop yourself from groping women."
The Post points out that at least Fabrizio got paid a bit less than half of what he billed, which seems like a typical Trump Discount:
Even though he was hired in May, the campaign did not make any payments to Fabrizio until September, when his firm received nearly $624,000, federal filings show. Trump's finance reports show that the campaign owes the firm an additional $55,300 on top of the $766,756.67 in debt that it is contesting.
Donald Trump doesn't like paying for wasteful expenses, like campaign staffers' salaries.
Even though Fabrizio's been screwed, the Post notes that Trump has at least gotten over some of his reluctance to use pollsters at all. Since August, the campaign has hired four other polling firms, including Conway's -- which the FEC report shows Trump actually paid $673,000, although we may have to wait a few months to find out whether she was paid in full. Hahaha, we are joking -- why would Trump ever pay anyone in full? And if Trump loses the election, he'll have a whole new round of bills to skip out on. What an exciting time to be a Republican operative!
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