An analysis of Donald Trump’s campaign finance filings, published by Politico, reveals an integrated business and political operation without precedent in U.S. elections history.
The analysis found that Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has paid his family’s businesses more than $8.2 million, which is an unprecedented sum, reported Politico.
Among the goods and services that The Republican presidential nominee has paid his companies for are $34,500 for lodging and event staging at Trump National Doral golf course, $432,000 to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s club in Palm Beach, Fla., for lodging, $48,200 for room rental and catering from the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, N.Y., and $142,000 to Trump Restaurants for rent, utilities, meals and office supplies.
Trump also paid more than $1.3 million to Trump Tower to rent office space for its main campaign headquarters, according to the report. Trump Ice, his bottled water company, got $1,300, while his son Eric Trump’s Virginia winery was paid almost $5,000 for catering and event space.
Additionally, the campaign paid corporate staffers ($333,000) who helped with everything from his traveling security to his wife’s convention speech.
The bulk of the spending, almost $6 million, went to a company called ‘TAG Air’ for use of Trump’s private plane, the analysis found.
“In all, the Trump campaign’s payments to Trump-owned businesses account for about 7 percent of its $119 million spending total,” Politico found. That’s an unprecedented amount of self-dealing in federal politics, the report notes.
Trump’s mix of businesses and political ambitions has raised concerns about the potential for conflicts of interest should he win the presidency. His Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in July accused Trump of “spending his campaign donated resources on … himself.”
Trump, however, doesn’t appear to feel any embarrassment to have used use donated money to enrich himself and his family.
And he continues to simultaneously use and promote facilitates he owns, even sometimes using deceptive practices to do so. For instance, last week, he lured the political press corp to his new Washington hotel by promising a revelation about his longstanding allegations that President Obama was born overseas, which he finally disavowed. Before getting to that, though, he took the opportunity to promote the hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue in the Old Post Office.