Trump takes major step to raise money for general election
© Getty Images

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE's appointment of a top fundraiser Thursday is "a small step in the right direction," but the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has a long way to go, said Mitt Romney's former fundraiser.

"This is a $2 billion business that you have got to set up," Lisa Spies told The Hill on Thursday. 

Trump has far to go to build a proper finance operation with dozens of staff spread across the country. 

"I just don't envy him," Spies added, referring to the enormous task Steven Mnuchin has ahead of him in a campaign that, to date, has largely been self-funded. 

"He's going to need to spend his initial time telling donors that Donald Trump didn't mean what he said to them."  

The presumptive Republican nominee said in a statement that Mnuchin "brings unprecedented experience and expertise to a fundraising operation that will benefit the Republican Party and ultimately defeat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE." 

But only one of eight well-connected Republican and Democratic donors and fundraisers contacted by The Hill — a former fundraiser for Jeb Bush and Scott Walker — knew of Mnuchin. Spies was not familiar with him. 

The media has jumped on the fact that both Trump and Mnuchin, a hedge fund manager and former Goldman Sachs partner, have bankrolled the Democrat they are about to face in a general election. 

As Trump's national finance chairman, Mnuchin is being tasked with leading the effort to raise the $1 billion-plus it's likely going to cost Trump and his allies to fund a general election campaign against Clinton, despite his prior donations to Clinton and other Democratic candidates. 

Mnuchin also has had professional ties to billionaire George Soros, who is among the biggest Democratic donors of recent years and is regarded as a bogeyman in Republican circles. 

And as a hedge fund manager and former partner at Goldman Sachs, Mnuchin represents two groups of people Trump and his surrogates have delighted in excoriating. 

Questions are already being raised in the media about the contradictions between Trump's appointment of Mnuchin and the billionaire's campaign's past statements about hedge fund managers and Goldman Sachs.  

Of Mnuchin's profession, Trump has said he wants to change the tax system to get "hedge fund guys" to pay higher taxes because they're "getting away with murder."

"The hedge fund guys didn't build this country," Trump told CBS's "Face the Nation" in August. "These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky."  

The Trump campaign has also bashed Goldman Sachs to score political points against former presidential rival Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE, whose wife works there. And Clinton has been hit by Democratic rival Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE for giving lucrative speeches to the company. 

Mnuchin said in a statement, “It’s a great privilege to be working with Mr. Trump to create a world class finance organization to support the campaign in the general election.”