Donald Trump has charged his reelection campaign $1.3 million for business expenses such as rent, food and lodging since he has taken office.
Forbes reported the first $1.1 million that Trump took out of his campaign and put into his business. After that, his campaign spent another $180,000 at Trump properties in 2018.
When Trump first started his campaign, he said, “I don’t need anybody’s money. “I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.”
At first he was true to his word. He spent $50 million of his own money from April 2015 to June 2016. The following month, when he was officially named the Republican nominee for president, he began using different financing. From July 2016 to November 2016, outsiders donated $234 million, and Trump put in only $16 million.
Once he became president, the campaign put over $800,000 into Trump Tower Commercial LLC. The company then took an additional $225,000 in rent from the Republican National Committee. The campaign also paid $54,000 to Trump Plaza LLC. The payments are listed as “rent,” but it is unclear what the campaign was renting. Six residents of the building said they’d never seen any campaign activity there.
Trump Restaurants LLC has also received $60,000 in campaign funds for “rent,” although again, it is unclear what the Trump campaign is renting. Inside the building, near Trump Grill and Trump’s Ice Cream Parlor, there is a kiosk selling Trump memorabilia. A poster next to the stand says, “Paid for by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.” which is the official name of the president’s 2020 campaign committee.