President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign is spending heavily with businesses the president owns, channeling more than $1 million in campaign donations to Trump-owned businesses and properties, according to Forbes.
Federal election filings analyzed by Forbes say that Trump’s 2020 campaign has raked in millions of dollar from donors while Trump himself has converted at least $1.1 million of those donor funds into his own money by charging “the campaign for hotels, food, rent and legal consulting.”
Trump Tower Commercial LLC is a New York State-based entity owned by the 45th president. As of the latest campaign finance filing, the entity had charged Trump’s re-election campaign at least $665,000 in rent. An additional $225,000 in rent payments have been made to this entity through a similar arrangement with the Republican National Committee (RNC).
Just how much space the campaign and RNC are renting is not clear, but based on the reporting, Law & Crime concludes one of two things must be true: “an extreme amount of real estate is currently being occupied–or the Trump Tower business is heavily inflating real estate prices.”
Leading up to the 2016 election, the president’s campaign paid an average of $2,700 in monthly Trump Tower rent for every person listed in campaign filings as receiving a “payroll” payment. The 2020 operation, by contrast, is shelling out an average of $6,300 in monthly rent for every such person.
Similar shady business is occuring with the Trump-owned and New York State-based entity known as Trump Plaza LLC.
This entity currently controls a retail space, a parking garage, and two medium-sized apartment buildings.
According to federal filings, the Trump 2020 campaign has paid Trump Plaza LLC at least $42,000 in rent since November 2017–but, according to Forbes, there doesn’t appear to be any campaign activity occurring on any such property owned by the entity.
For one, the retail space simply has nothing campaign-related going on whatsoever. Same goes for the parking garage–which appears to be sub-leased to a non-Trump company at present. As for the apartment buildings? It doesn’t look like there’s any campaign-related activity happening there either.