Throughout Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, one of the constants has been allegations that he’s made a habit of refusing to pay vendors that did work for him or his companies. The Trump campaign’s latest Federal Election Commission filings may have revealed another such case, as it lists a $766,756.67 bill to Fabrizio, Lee & Associates, their pollster, as a “contested debt.”
Jason Miller, the campaign’s senior communications adviser, told the Washington Post that “[t]his is an administrative issue that we’re resolving internally.” Fabrizio Lee was not immediately available for comment. When the polling company was brought on in May, Politico classified the move as “a surprise to those who have listened to Trump boast that he doesn’t employ pollsters,” adding that “Trump has questioned the value of paying for them when so many polls are published each day in the media — and framed that as part of his outsider appeal.”
In the first official presidential debate of the campaign, Trump defended his history of non-payment as something he resorted to when confronted with someone who “didn’t do a good job.” He made sure to add that “when Secretary Clinton talks about people that didn’t get paid, first of all, they did get paid a lot, but taken advantage of the laws of the nation.”
The same Politico piece also dubbed Tony Fabrizio, the man the company is named for, “Florida’s most sought-after Republican pollster and adviser.” As the race between Trump and Hillary Clinton becomes a dead heat in Florida with eight days to go until Election Day, the loss of such an ally could end up being a factor to keep an eye on in such an important swing state.