Trump Begins to Bleed Texas Donors

Some Texas donors are withdrawing from attending two upcoming fundraisers in the state for Donald Trump.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the first debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on Sept, 26, 2016.
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the first debate with Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, on Sept, 26, 2016.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement released Oct. 10 by San Antonio developer Gene Powell.

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s problems are becoming financial. 

Amid turmoil over a video revealing the Republican nominee's boasts about groping women, some Texas donors are pulling out of two scheduled fundraisers in the state on Tuesday, according to Texas Republicans with knowledge of the events.

Trump is scheduled to headline fundraisers in Dallas and San Antonio next week, and the aim was to raise in the ballpark of $5 million for his presidential effort. It is an open question whether those fundraisers will happen, according to the Republican sources. Sunday's presidential debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will likely be determinative on that front. 

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The video, first reported by The Washington Post, showed Trump in 2005 using explicit language and set off a conflagration within the GOP over the weekend. High-profile members of Congress — including Texans — and statewide officials condemned their party's nominee, and some withdrew their support for his candidacy.

That anger has extended to the moneyed circles of Texas GOP politics.

One high-profile Texan, bundler Gene Powell of San Antonio, appeared to pull out of hosting the San Antonio fundraiser over the weekend, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the event. On Monday, Powell said in a statement that he was still planning to serve as one of the fundraiser's co-hosts but suggested he was doing so grudgingly.

“I am deeply disappointed and offended by the comments made by Mr. Trump on the video released on Friday," Powell said. "However, I made a commitment to the campaign and I have one obligation left to the campaign and that is a fundraising event tomorrow in San Antonio and I will fulfill that obligation as promised.”

Elsewhere in the state, a Houston donor went public with his ire on Friday. Houston attorney Tony Buzbee — who hosted Trump in June for a fundraiser — wrote on Facebook: “Sorry Donald. I’m done with you. Completely.” 

Read more of our related coverage:

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  • Top Texas Republicans line up to condemn Trump's remarks. 
  • Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's ability to appeal to women voters — even in a red state like Texas — is under scrutiny
  • Ted Cruz said he's willing to forgive Donald Trump for family attacks.

Disclosure: Tony Buzbee has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.