Prior to Donald Trump’s arrival at the White House, the Republican National Committee appeared to have no special interest in doing business with Trump-owned properties, but during the 2018 election cycle, the RNC has poured $1.5 million into properties owned by the president, according to Open Secrets.
Most of that business has gone to Trump’s hotels in New York and Washington, D.C., along with his golf resorts in Florida, the watchdog reported.
> Most of the money comes from a handful of large expenditures that correspond with RNC events, the biggest being a $367,365 payment to Trump National Doral Golf Club in June — related to the RNC’s 2018 Spring Meeting at the resort.
> In March, the RNC spent more than $224,000 at Mar-a-Lago, where it hosted a Trump 2020 fundraiser. In September, the RNC made just one $59 payment to a Trump property, according to recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.
> RNC officials say Trump properties are easy to work with and offer rates that fall in line with FEC requirements that committees pay for services at market-rate prices. Critics of the expenditures say the President has not fully divested his hotels and resorts — now run by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric — potentially creating a pay-for-play scenario.
How much money did the RNC spend with Trump before he became president?
> Prior to 2016, it’s only payment to a Trump-owned property was $39,123 to the Doral in 2011. The committee spent just $146,521 at Trump properties during the entire 2016 election cycle.
Republicans in general have taken their business to the president’s properties, Open Secrets said, including almost 100 candidates and lawmakers.
Democrats, on the other hand, have spent nothing at Trump's properties since he took office.