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Trump trails Clinton in fundraising

The haul came during a typically challenging fundraising month

Washington CNN  — 

Donald Trump and his joint committees raised $90 million in August, a substantial haul for a candidate late to fundraising but one that still significantly trails Hillary Clinton’s enormous summer totals.

Critically, much of the cash raised by Trump last month will eventually head to his campaign’s own coffers, giving him greater discretion over how Republican efforts are waged in the homestretch of the general election.

Despite its paltry fundraising operation, the Trump campaign said Wednesday that it collected huge totals from from small-dollar donors, who have flocked to the Republican nominee thanks to his costly investment in digital fundraising tools. The campaign said 2.1 million individuals have given to Trump and it collected over $5 million during Trump’s whirlwind, controversial visit to Mexico on the last day of the month.

The campaign said that it and its joint committees had $97 million on hand as of September 1, though it did not disclose how much of that cash was held by the campaign proper.

Additional details will not be revealed until documents are filed with the Federal Election Commission later this month.

Trump raises money for both his individual campaign along with two joint committees that split the cash between his operation, the Republican National Committee and more than a dozen state parties. The campaign did not announce how the $90 million was split.

Of the money, $70 million came through Trump’s official campaign and his small-dollar joint fundraising group, Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s finance chair, told CNN. And an additional $18 million was raised through Trump Victory – a high-dollar group that largely funnels checks to the RNC, not his campaign.

Trump contributed an additional $2 million to his campaign last month, Mnuchin said, boosting his overall total to shy of $60 million.

Trump’s fundraising total was first reported Wednesday by Fox News.

The haul, raised in the late summer doldrums when candidates often struggle to collect large checks, is another sign that Trump has managed to quickly assemble a finance operation despite his historically late start to presidential fundraising. The billionaire largely self-funded his primary bid before deciding to raise money traditionally once becoming the presumptive GOP nominee in the late spring.

Yet Clinton, who prioritized exclusive fundraising events over retail campaigning last month, still holds a commanding lead in the cash race as of the beginning of September. Her campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee and other state parties, collected $143 million in August, a record-shattering number. Her campaign said it had $68 million on hand.

“We are very pleased he has continued to dedicate time to fundraise with the RNC to support important ground operations for the Republican Party,” Mnuchin said in a statement, arguing that Trump was competitive in surveys despite Clinton’s advertising advantages.

And while Clinton’s super PACs have steadily raised checks of unlimited size and deployed their substantial resources on swing-state television, Trump’s are still sputtering, failing to reel in large checks and ceding television airwaves for much of the summer to Clinton allies.

CNN’s Jim Acosta and Dan Merica contributed to this report.