(CNN)Donald Trump said in an interview Wednesday that he sees "no reason" to raise $1 billion to compete in the general election against Hillary Clinton, who is expected to raise upwards of that sum.
Donald Trump: 'No reason' to raise $1 billion
Trump said as recently as last month in an interview with The New York Times, "I think we'll raise $1 billion," though top GOP donors and fundraisers have warned that Trump's late start to the fundraising game would likely keep him from reaching that target.
Trump signaled Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg Politics that he would instead continue to rely on free media attention to make up for his money deficit.
"There's no reason to raise that," Trump said. "I just don't think I need nearly as much money as other people need because I get so much publicity. I get so many invitations to be on television. I get so many interviews, if I want them."
Trump largely self-funded his primary campaign, but began cobbling together a fundraising infrastructure after becoming his party's presumptive Republican nominee in early May. He also reached a finance agreement with the Republican National Committee that will allow him to collect larger checks for his campaign and help fill the party's coffers, funds that will also benefit his campaign.
Trump has launched himself into the high-dollar Republican fundraising world in recent weeks, hosting and attending several fundraisers around his campaign rally schedule.
Trump refused in his Bloomberg interview to even commit to raising half of the $1 billion mark Clinton is expected to cross this year.
Trump's fundraising operation has struggled to get off the ground not just because of his recently pieced together fundraising team, but also because of his controversial appeal.
After Trump met with fundraisers and CEO's at the Four Seasons in New York on Thursday, Trump's national finance chairman, Steven Mnuchin, told CNN's Erin Burnett on "OutFront" that the meeting "couldn't have gone better."
Mnuchin did not disclose the amount of money that the campaign has raised so far but said, "You have to understand we literally just started this in the last four weeks." He added that the majority of the funds will come in during "the latter half of the summer."
Many major GOP donors have so far remained on the sidelines, unsure of whether they are willing and ready to support a candidate who has repeatedly courted controversy, including as recently as last week when Trump attached an Indiana-born federal judge as inherently biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.
Mnuchin dismissed talk that donors are concerned about Trump's judge comments.
"This is last week's story," Mnuchin told Burnett. "I don't know why we're talking about it anymore."