The Trump campaign sent two fundraising emails ahead of his speech asking supporters to chip in “before I address the American people tonight.”
“Tonight also happens to be our FEC deadline for February,” the identical emails said.
That is not actually the case.
In late January, the Trump campaign changed from a monthly to a quarterly filing schedule. According to a Federal Election Commission letter to the campaign acknowledging the change, its first “close of books” deadline this year is March 31, and its first filing deadline is April 15.
The emails went on to ask supporters to “make a contribution of $100, $65, $50, $35, $20, $10, or $5 toward our end-of-month FEC deadline before 8:30 PM EST TONIGHT to get your name on the my [sic] list of contributors.”
Fundraising emails often cite FEC deadlines as a way of adding urgency to their appeals, but the Trump campaign’s first fundraising period of 2017 won’t close for another month.
The campaign did not immediately respond to questions about the apparent discrepancy.
Trump’s reelection campaign has officially been up and running since hours after he was inaugurated in January, allowing him to raise money for his reelection effort throughout his entire first term.
Past presidents have officially declared their reelection candidacies far later in their terms. President Barack Obama filed his statement of candidacy with the FEC in April 2011. George W. Bush did so in May 2003.
“Our Movement cannot stop now—we still have much work to do,” declares the Trump campaign’s website. “This is why our Campaign Committee, Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., is still here.”
Tuesday’s fundraising emails promised that Trump’s speech would address a number of campaign promises, including the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, an effort currently hitting snags in Congress, and a restrictive immigration policy, a stance the White House is reportedly considering softening.
“My speech will be a message of optimism, hope, and love for the greatest country in history. I will lay out our agenda for a stronger, freer, and more prosperous America,” the emails said.