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Faced with a meager show in fundraising efforts, Donald Trump told TODAY's Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie he’s willing to finance his general election campaign with his own money, just like he did in his effort to secure the Republican nomination.
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"I spent $55 million of own money to win the primaries. Fifty-five. That’s a lot of money by even any standard. I may do that again in the general election," Trump told TODAY in a phone interview Tuesday. "I have a lot of cash, I may do it in the general election, but it would be nice to have some help from the party."
The latest campaign finance reports show the presumptive Republican nominee running far behind his Democratic rival in fundraising. Trump raised just over $3 million in May — the month he secured enough delegates to claim his party's nomination — while Hillary Clinton brought in more than $26 million, according to the reports filed Monday night with the Federal Election Commission.
Clinton also has far more cash in her coffers than Trump: She started June with with $42 million cash on hand compared to Trump’s $1.3 million, reports show.
Repeating a common assertion that "I understand money better than anybody," Trump said his main problem has not been securing money from supporters but from the Republican National Committee.
"I’m having more difficulty frankly with some of the people in the party than I am with the Democrats. They don’t want to come on. They will probably eventually come on," he said. "Honestly if they don’t it’s just fine. I can win it either way. I may be better off winning it the opposite way than the traditional way."
Trump also told TODAY he raised $12 million alone this past weekend during a handful of campaign stops throughout Arizona, Texas and Nevada.
The filings were revealed hours after Trump fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who had been with the campaign from the beginning. Lewandowski was ousted amid concerns about his ability to run a competitive race, as well as reports of growing contention between him and Trump’s convention manager, Paul Manafort.
Trump defended the work Lewandowski did for him, describing him as the perfect person to lead a fiscally lean primary campaign.
“Corey was absolutely perfect for that,” he said. "We have a great relationship but we’re going in a different direction.”
He also discounted reports that Lewandowski was fired in part because Trump’s older children, who serve as campaign advisers, wanted him off the team.
“I read all these reports about the children, about — all of this, its all nonsense. It’s absolute nonsense,” Trump said.