Report: Trump Has Shifted $1.7M From Campaign Donors To His Private Business
President Donald Trump has yet to spend any of his own money on his re-election campaign, according to Federal Election Commission records, but he is pouring campaign donations into his own companies, according to a Forbes analysis.
By the end of 2018, the magazine reported, the Trump campaign had spent $1.3 million of campaign-donor money at Trump-owned businesses; now, that figure has risen to $1.7 million.
The top recipient of campaign cash has been Trump Tower Commercial LLC, “which controls the president’s famous Manhattan skyscraper” and has “accepted $1.2 million in rent from the reelection effort and another $225,000 from the Republican National Committee.”
Asked about the numerous payouts to Trump’s companies, a Trump Organization spokesperson told Forbes: “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.”
Nevertheless, questions continue to swirl around the arrangements, including $65,000 paid to Trump Corporation in the first nine months of 2019 for “legal and IT consulting,” which Forbes noted was more than the campaign paid the company for the entirety of 2018. “It is not clear why the Trump Organization is charging the campaign for such things or why the expenses increased since 2018,” the magazine wrote.
Trump has faced repeated accusations of conflicts of interest since taking office, owing to the fact that he retained ownership of his business after becoming president.