Report: Trump Has Now Shifted $1.9 Million In Campaign Donations To His Business
President Donald Trump claimed early on in his political career that he would not need to rely on donations to fund his campaign — he was a billionaire, after all, and would get by on his own stash of cash.
But this far into the 2020 campaign, Trump has yet to spend a cent of his own money, according to Forbes, choosing instead to spend the hard-earned dollars his supporters have generously supplied.
And on top of that, the publication noted, Trump is putting plenty of those donations into his own pocket.
According to federal campaign filings, “since January 20, 2017, the day Trump officially declared his intent to run for reelection, his campaign has put $1.9 million of donor money into the president’s private business.”
Forbes reported more than a year ago that Trump’s private companies were charging his campaign for rent, consulting, and other expenses. At that point, the president had turned $1.1 million of campaign donations into revenue for his personal company.
Trump Tower Commercial LLC, which holds office and retail space inside Trump Tower in New York and in which the president maintains a 100 percent interest, has taken in the most money, grabbing $1.3 million of the shifted campaign donations.
Another Trump-owned entity, Trump Corp., has collected $259,000 in campaign funds since the beginning of 2017. “FEC filings show it is charging the campaign for legal and IT consulting,” Forbes reported, though it remains unclear what specific services the company is providing to the president’s reelection campaign.
Trump Corp. is described as a “management company” in Trump’s May 2019 financial disclosure report, making it unclear “why the president’s reelection campaign is apparently relying on a management company for help with legal and technology issues.”
Numerous other Trump entities have cashed in on his campaign efforts as well, including the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the Trump Hotel Collection, Trump Plaza LLC, and Trump Restaurants LLC.
None of the transactions are illegal, Forbes noted, so long as the Trump campaign is paying fair-market prices.
In response to a set of detailed questions on the matter, the Trump campaign offered Forbes a general statement, saying: “The campaign pays fair-market value under negotiated rental agreements and other service agreements in compliance with the law. The campaign works closely with campaign counsel to ensure strict compliance in this regard.”