WASHINGTON, June 8 (UPI) -- Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Wednesday backed away from a previously stated goal of raising $1 billion for his presidential campaign, as some donors say recent controversies surrounding the candidate have made potential wealthy contributors less likely to open their checkbooks.
Trump told Bloomberg News that he doesn't need to raise $1 billion because he can rely on a lot of free media coverage his campaign receives.
"I just don't think I need nearly as much money as other people need because I get so much publicity. I get so many invitations to be on television. I get so many interviews, if I want them," Trump said.
Politico reported on Trump's fundraising prospects Wednesday, saying interviews with several top GOP fundraisers yielded mass skepticism about whether Trump can match the amount Hillary Clinton is expected to raise.
Trump donors said he may struggle to reach even a third of his goal -- or $300 million.
To help address the shortfall, Trump and the Republican National Committee created a joint fundraising account that allows wealthy individuals to skirt the individual contribution limit of $2,700 and write much larger checks instead. The Trump Victory Fund released a list of two dozen vice chairs to help bolster the effort as front-line fundraisers.
Several of those members told Politico that they agreed to lend their names to the effort, but do not plan to seriously work on the fund's behalf. Others have resorted to asking donors to write checks directly to the RNC to avoid scrutiny when their names would be listed publicly as having donated to Trump's campaign.
Trump loyalists point to the candidate's unique star power and ability to soak up hours of cable news coverage, plus his vast reach on Twitter, as evidence his unconventional campaign can win without a typical large-scale fundraising apparatus and paid television commercials that other candidates have relied on in the past.