“Believe me,” Donald Trump has repeatedly said on the campaign trail — suggesting that he can be taken on his word. But if you’re someone who’s working for Trump and hoping to get paid, you might not want to believe him.
Take, for instance, this new story from Matea Gold at the Washington Post, in which she reports that Trump is disputing nearly $767,000 that his pollster says the campaign owes him:
Trump's hiring of pollster Tony Fabrizio in May was viewed as a sign that the real estate mogul was finally bringing seasoned operatives into his insurgent operation.
But the Republican presidential nominee appears to have taken issue with some of the services provided by the veteran GOP strategist, who has advised candidates from 1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole to Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The Trump campaign's latest Federal Election Commission report shows that it is disputing nearly $767,000 that Fabrizio's firm says it is still owed for polling.
The Trump campaign told the Post that this is “an administrative issue that we’re resolving internally,” offering no further details.
Now, we don’t know the full story here. But at first glance, it appears to fit with a pattern of past accusations that Trump stiffs people of their earned pay.
There are hundreds of accusations that Trump refused to pay contractors and workers what they were owed, which the Wall Street Journal and USA Today compiled this year. “The actions in total paint a portrait of Trump’s sprawling organization frequently failing to pay small businesses and individuals, then sometimes tying them up in court and other negotiations for years,” USA Today’s Steve Reilly wrote. “In some cases, the Trump teams financially overpower and outlast much smaller opponents, draining their resources.” (Trump told Reilly that if he ever didn’t pay, it must have been because he was unhappy with the work.)
And last month, Republican consultant Brian James Walsh further corroborated these accusations with his own personal story:
True story - my Dad's company was stiffed by Trump on a six figure telecom job in the 1980's. Trump told them it would cost more to sue him.— Brian Walsh (@brianjameswalsh) September 27, 2016
This is, apparently, how Trump has long done business. And it’s only one small part of his long history of shady business practices and even outright corruption.