Trump slams Biden over Wall Street donors during presidential debate

Biden, Trump clash over Wall Street connections during debate

In Thursday's final presidential debate, President Trump took aim at Democratic challenger Joe Biden over the Wall Street donors who have lined up behind his campaign, accusing the former vice president of being beholden to them.

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Trump's remarks came after Biden appeared to suggest the president had been in contact with stock traders seeking to profit off the market's collapse in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

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According to a New York Times report published last week, White House officials privately conceded concerns about the coronavirus outbreak to board members of the conservative-leaning Hoover Institution  even as they sought to publicly downplay the virus. That information was subsequently shared with hedge fund managers and other outside investors, helping to fuel a market sell-off.

Trump fired back quickly, saying Biden had hit record fundraising figures by relying on Wall Street megadonors.

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“You’re the one that takes all the money from Wall Street, I don’t take it,” Trump said. “As president, and as somebody that knows most of those people, I could call the heads of Wall Street, the heads of every company in America — I would blow away every record, but I don’t want to do that, because it puts me in a bad position.”

He continued: “And then you bring up Wall Street? You shouldn’t be bringing up Wall Street, because you’re the one who takes money from Wall Street, not me.”

Biden said his average campaign donation was $43.

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Trump's campaign is facing a cash crunch, with just 11 days to go until the Nov. 3 election, in part because of spending under former campaign manager Brad Parscale.

Biden’s campaign entered October with more than $177 million in cash on hand. The Trump campaign has about $63 million in its war chest.

But Biden's surprising cash advantage over Trump has been fueled in part by big donors: A new analysis found that the campaign raised almost $200 million from donors who gave at least $100,000 to his joint fundraising operation with the Democratic National Committee over the past six months, roughly twice as much as the president raised from six-figure donors in that time frame.

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Still, Trump and his allies raised about $400 million less than Hillary Clinton did four years ago  something that the president pointed out on Thursday night.

“We don’t need money, we have plenty of money,” Trump said. “In fact, we beat Hillary Clinton with a tiny fraction of what she was able to raise.”