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Anna Massoglia, a researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics, brought renewed attention to campaign spending at Trump properties in a July 16 Tweet. She wrote,

New @FEC filing: Trump Victory paid ~$400,000 to Trump Hotel in Q2 alone—steering over $3 MILLION in donations from presidential campaign donors to Trump family, properties & businesses with his 2020 re-election campaign & Trump MAGA joint fundraising cmte—$17.4M+ counting 2016.

A 2019 article from the center’s OpenSecrets News explains,

Federal political committees have spent more than $20 million at businesses owned by President Donald Trump since the 2008 cycle, according to an OpenSecrets analysis of Federal Election Commission filings.

Roughly 99 percent of that money has come since the start of the 2016 cycle, when [President Donald J.] Trump announced his bid for president and began spending campaign money at his own properties. Over that time, Trump campaign-affiliated committees have funneled about $16.8 million to Trump-owned businesses, the bulk of the spending at his properties.

  • This spending has included costs such as travel and fundraising events.
  • The center notes that “Trump properties weren’t a preferred location for Washington lawmakers until after Trump became president.” Between 2008 and 2016, non-Trump campaign entities spent less than $227,000 at Trump properties. Since 2016, non-Trump campaign entity spending increased to more than $1.3 million.
  • Salon reports that taxpayer money has also become a concern as Trump has hosted government events at his properties, including hosting Secret Service agents at one of the Trump Organization’s hotels for $396 a night, in spite of Eric Trump’s claims that only $50 would be charged.