Donald Trump has often bragged that because he largely self-funded his primary campaign, he is not beholden to the whims of big donors and special interests.
However, Buzzfeed News reported that in actuality Trump repeatedly asked donors for funding only to be turned down.
In an email to CNBC, Trump spokesperson Hope Hicks said that allegation "is totally false."
Buzzfeed News further reported that Trump's efforts to woo big donors included mailing casino magnate and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson a booklet of glossy photos of himself being honored at a Jewish gala and wrote on it, "Sheldon, no one will be a bigger friend to Israel than me!"
The online outlet's report stands in seeming contrast to some of Trump's previous statements, including a tweet in which he wrote that "Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to [Sen. Marco] Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!"
The news may damage one of Trump's central arguments about why he should be elected; his status as an independent outsider who is less reliant on outside funding.