According to math that Donald Trump likes, his own national campaign finance chairman is doing a considerably sh!tty job raising money from the very business sector in which he used to work.
Here's what The Donald tweeted on Monday:
Now let's get it out of the way that the Center for Responsive Politics has publicly stated that these are not their numbers. In fact, the CRP believes them to be a different finding compiled and reported by WSJ's John Carney. To that point, the CRP has published a lengthy blog post criticizing the WSJ's methodology and stating that the number they have for Clinton's hedge fund money is roughly half of what Carney, and therefore Trump's tweet, says it is.
Defining what is and isn't hedge fund money is a bit of a deep gray area so the likely actual number for Clinton is somewhere between the CRP's and WSJ's. But regardless of whether you believe John Carney or not (And really who would? Do you know where that guy used to work?) it doesn't really matter because the real story is that Trump is drawing attention to how little money he has raised from hedge funds in comparison to his opponent. And that is nutty for even Donald "Get That Baby Outta Here!" Trump.
Trump's campaign finance committee is chaired by former hedge fund manager Steve Mnuchin and its unofficial hype man is Skybridge Capital founder Anthony "Mooch" Scaramucci. In addition Trump has cozied up to Carl Icahn, Cerebrus' Steve Feinberg and secretive, whistle-prone, gold standard-loving ur-quant Robert Mercer. Sure, he's taken swipes at "hedge fund guys" but that's just a political formality these days. By hiring Mnuchin and embracing Mooch, Trump has effectively sent out the call to "Bring me some of that "two and twenty" cash!"
While Muchin is an unknown quantity in the political money game (other than all those donation he made to Hillary in the past) he's a seemingly smart guy with very good connections (he worked for Goldman and George Soros.) And Scaramucci is an experienced and tenacious bundler who is sure to bring in the cheddar. So why is Trump basically bragging that they haven't?
The max personal contribution to a political candidate is $2,700. So if Trump really believes the numbers in his tweet, he is effectively saying that Mnuchin and Mooch have failed to find 3.5 hedge fund friends apiece. We can also iner that Trump believes basically every PM who likes politics has reached into his fleece vest to write Hillary a max check instead. We get the point Trump's trying to make in the tweet, but the data cited is embarrassing not just to the guys raising money, but Trump himself.
And to make it even more dysfunctional, Scaramucci told Fortune the day after this tweet that the Trump campaign and its PACs have gotten about $25 million from the hedge fund industry (almost dead even with the CRPs actual numbers) and that he estimates the campaign pulled in about $70 million during July with roughly 20% coming from hedge funds.
Certainly any reasonable observer assumes that Clinton will out-raise Trump on Wall Street, and Trump is more than entitled to make political hay about that in an election cycle that has turned "finance" into a dirty word. But it is both hamfisted and very Trumpian to misrepresent statistics and turn a possibly cogent argument into a fact-allergic rant that embarrasses both himself and the people trying to get him elected.
So check the date, August 4th 2016 is the day that Donald Trump made us feel bad for unfairly criticized hedge fund managers.