A week after the Trump campaign released a statement claiming that the loan was “fully extinguished,” NBC News found no Federal Election Commission record proving that those funds had been converted to donations. Campaign staffers refused to share legal paperwork proving that the transaction was complete, although spokeswoman Hope Hicks said last week that the campaign planned to submit the formal paperwork on June 23.
This week, Hicks told NBC News that the paperwork would “be filed with the next regularly scheduled FEC report.” The next monthly report is due July 20.
All of Trump’s spending on the 2016 race was still categorized as loans in the most recent FEC filing, posted June 20.
Until the loans are formally forgiven, Trump retains the right to use new donations to reimburse himself until August under federal law, according to the report.
This could raise questions for potential donors concerned that their funds could be kept by the candidate rather than put toward the campaign. As Trump’s June filing revealed, the presumptive GOP nominee has struggled to raise funds so far, taking in only $3.1 million in May compared to $26.4 million for rival Hillary Clinton.
Trump is free to either file a stand-alone statement asserting the forgiveness of his loans, as his campaign said he would do last week, or to wait and disclose this change on the FEC report out July 20.
What is clear is that he has not yet followed through with his claim to have already converted the $45 million in loans into a donation.