Donald Trump Just Made the Case for Campaign Finance Reform

“I will tell you that our system is broken.”

Donald Trump tore up the stage at the first GOP debate, and he threw his fellow candidates into a frenzy when Fox News moderator tried to challenge him on his extensive donations to Hillary Clinton and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

“Most of the people on this stage I’ve given to, a lot of money,” Trump responded.

Several of his opponents were quick to deny that they had taken money from Trump, but apparently not all of them could stand the idea of leaving money on the table.

“You’re welcome to give me a check, Donald, if you’d like,” former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee pitched.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said, “I hope you will give to me.”

“Good, sounds good to me Governor,” Trump said.

But he wasn’t done.

“I will tell you that our system is broken. I give to many people,” he said. “I give to everybody, when they call I give, and you know what? When I need something from them, two years, three years later, I call, they are there for me.”

Asked what he got from Hillary Clinton for his donations to her 2007 Senate campaign, Trump bragged, “Well, I’ll tell you, with Hillary Clinton, I said come to my wedding and she came to my wedding, she had no choice, because I gave.”

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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