Trump Campaign Didn’t Pay Nearly a Dozen Senior Aides, Including Paul Manafort

Donald Trump
Donald Trump / AP
September 2, 2016

Donald Trump’s campaign did not pay former campaign manager Paul Manafort along with at least nine other senior staffers, consultants, and advisers, according to a Reuters review of federal campaign finance filings published Friday.

California state director Tim Clark, communications director Michael Caputo, and two senior aides who departed from the campaign in June to work for a Trump Super PAC were among those who did not receive a paycheck from the Trump campaign.

Campaigns have traditionally paid people in many of those positions six-figure annual salaries. By comparison, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook was paid roughly $10,000 in July, equaling the amount President Obama’s campaign manager earned in 2012.

"It’s unprecedented for a presidential campaign to rely so heavily on volunteers for top management positions," Paul Ryan, deputy executive director at the Campaign Legal Center, told Reuters.

Trump and his aides have often pointed to his campaign’s low spending as evidence of the business mogul’s management abilities. His campaign has so far spent $89.5 million total, roughly a third of what Clinton’s campaign has spent, according to Reuters.

Caputo told a radio station in Buffalo after his resignation that he was not volunteering for the campaign, but instead had not yet been paid. He told Reuters on Thursday the Trump campaign still had not paid his invoices.

The Trump campaign called the report "sloppy at best."

FEC filings showed Manafort’s deputy Rick Gates, who effectively worked as Trump’s campaign manager for more than two months, also worked for free. Other free laborers include finance chairman Steven Mnuchin, national political director Rick Wiley, and senior adviser Barry Bennett.

Former Chris Christie campaign manager Ken McKay and Manafort lobbying associate Laurance Gay also did not receive paychecks from the Trump campaign. McKay and Gay left the campaign in June and began working for the Trump-backed Super PAC, Rebuilding America Now. The PAC paid each of the former senior-level Trump advisers $60,000 in June.

Federal campaign finance law bars people working for campaigns or those who have insider knowledge of a campaign from working for a Super PAC for at least 120 days. McKay and Gay both told Reuters they were volunteering for Trump so the law did not apply.

Kellyanne Conway, who joined the Trump campaign July 1 and now works as his campaign manager, was not paid by the campaign in July, according to Reuters.