Bill O’Reilly ignored the fact that Donald Trump's campaign May financial report showed the campaign paid his own businesses and family for campaign events, instead choosing to debunk a controversy regarding a payment to what some initially believed to be a fictitious advertising firm.
During a June 22 discussion with Fox contributor Martha MacCallum, O’Reilly focused on a $35,000 advertising payment to New Hampshire ad firm Draper Sterling. The payment drew scrutiny because the company’s name was similar to lead characters in a fictitious television series about an ad agency, Mad Men.
Media outlets have confirmed that Draper Sterling appears to be a real ad firm, although as ThinkProgress noted, it remains unclear what work the company actually did for the Trump campaign.
But O’Reilly ignored the most scandalous aspects of Trump’s May FEC report. New York Magazine explained that the “embarrassingly bad” report showed that Trump raised just $3.1 million in May but paid out $6.7 million. Furthermore, roughly 20 percent of the money spent by the Trump campaign in May went to either companies owned by Trump and his family, or to travel reimbursements for his children. The Trump campaign also spent more than $900,000 on T-shirts, hats, mugs and signs. CNBC reported:
About 20 percent of May spending went to Trump companies or reimbursements for his children. That includes a roughly $423,000 payment to the Trump Organization's Mar-a-Lago club.
Trump's campaign also spent a solid portion of its May haul on “collateral,” like T-shirts, hats, mugs and signs. It spent more than $900,000 on those categories, more than 13 percent of its total spending.
“Trump's failure to develop an effective fundraising operation has his campaign at this point without the resources to scale up its staffing, build a field organization, or begin advertising in crucial states,” said Anthony Corrado, a professor of government at Colby College and campaign finance expert. “His campaign spending is largely devoted to the costs of personal paraphernalia, such as hats and mugs, which can be sold or distributed by the campaign as a means of raising small sums of money.”