- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 5, 2016

Donald Trump took the first steps to begin raising the massive amounts of money his White House bid will cost, naming Steven Mnuchin to be his national finance chairman.

The Trump campaign said the likely GOP nominee will “be putting up substantial money toward the general election,” but did not say he will self-fund the hundreds of millions of dollars a successful campaign will cost.

That means Mr. Trump will likely actively solicit money from others — something he’s vehemently criticized during the primary campaign, saying that by taking money candidates become beholden to their donors.

Mr. Mnuchin has run several investment firms, spent years at Goldman Sachs and has been a film investor.

He has worked with Mr. Trump before on business interests.

“Steven is a professional at the highest level with an extensive and very successful financial background,” Mr. Trump said in a statement decidedly more muted than his usual communications. “He brings unprecedented experience and expertise to a fundraising operation that will benefit the Republican Party and ultimately defeat Hillary Clinton.”

Mr. Trump has spent about $47 million so far on his campaign, relying instead on reaching voters through interviews and rallies that have earned him hundreds of millions of dollars worth of attention.

He’s received some donations, but hasn’t made an active effort to solicit, and has avoided the big fundraising dinners and photo sessions that other candidates have to do.

But analysts said it would be tough to self-fund the massive cost of a national presidential campaign, particularly since so much of Mr. Trump’s fortune is tied up in real estate he’d have to sell or take loans on.

“Do I want to sell a couple of buildings and self-fund? I don’t know that I want to do that necessarily,” he told MSNBC Wednesday. “I do love self-funding. I don’t want anything for myself. But we do need money for the party.”

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