>> On Thursday, Donald Trump is meeting with his top donors and finance team here at the Four Seasons Hotel in New York City. I'm Michelle Conlin from Reuters. And the meeting today is the first official gathering of the Trump money machine, the fundraising machine that's not only going to support the Trump candidacy, but all the other down ballot Republican races.
Now typically, a meeting like this in a typical, traditional operation would have taken place two years ago. So that gives you the sense of the late start that the Trump fundraising machine is getting here. They're doing so against a growing back trap of concern among Trump donors, about the sort of threadbare nature of the Trump campaign operation.
There's never been kind of anything like it in modern politics. There are virtually no pollsters, there's one hired today just to do New York, there's virtually no data team, there are virtually no strategists, Tthis is a lean, low cost operation. This fundraising team really has its work cut out for it.
It's trying to go into the market and raise big dollars at the very time there is just a growing rift and division within the Republican party over recent comments that Trump has made, and a string of controversial comments. And so, they are going up to do their jobs at a time when Donald Trump has made it very difficult for them to do so.
Like with everything else in the campaign, with Trump sort of up ending the traditional playbook, a lot of people think he may very well offend the traditional campaign finance playbook, as well, and that's because Donald Trump is estimated to be on course to nab $5 billion in free media before November.