Prior to his entrance into politics, President Donald Trump's properties never saw more than $100,000 in political spending in any given year, dating back to 2002. But that all changed after Trump reached the Oval Office. The total for 2017? About $1.2 million.
Political groups and special interest groups held events at properties owned by President Donald Trump more than 40 times since his inauguration, spending an unprecedented $1.2 million at his properties, according to a new study by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
Trump's own reelection campaign has gotten in on the action as well:
[S]ince assuming office, the campaign has spent more than half a million dollars at Trump hotels and Mar-a-Lago, reported CREW, a nonprofit legal group. The Trump Organization owns hotels, apartment buildings and golf courses in the United States.
So who has been spending their money at Trump properties?
- The Republican Governors Association spent $408,588 on a “Corporate Policy Summit” at Trump National Doral in Miami, and the Republican National Committee spent around $170,000 at Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.
- The country’s biggest private prison company held its annual leadership conference at a golf resort owned by President Donald Trump ... In February 2017, GEO won a $110 million contract to build a federal immigrant detention center in Texas. The facility is expected to generate $44 million a year. (Mother Jones)
- A lobbying firm employed by the Saudi government stayed at the Trump International Hotel - Washington D.C.
- Groups like the National Mining Association and the National Funeral Directors Association chose Trump properties for various events throughout the last year.
- In November, the National Republican Congressional Committee raffled off tickets for a weekend stay at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.
Critics argue it's difficult not to see such actions in political terms, but the Trump administration has consistently argued nothing improper is occurring.