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More Than a Year later, The White House Won’t Say What Trump Did With $107M Raised For His Inauguration

HOT WATER

More Than a Year later, The White House Won’t Say What Trump Did With $107M Raised For His Inauguration

Following Donald Trump’s election, a record $107 million was raised for his inauguration. However, a year and a half later, the committee that raised the money for the event still refuses to provide a final accounting of its finances or to disclose how the money was spent.

So where did it all go? Well, no one will say.

“We must decline comment at this time,” Kristin Celauro, a spokeswoman for the inaugural committee’s chairman, Thomas Barrack, said this week in response to reporter’s inquiry about the committee’s finances.

Presidential inaugural committees are private fundraising vehicles that pay for the concerts, balls and other festivities that surround the swearing-in. Trump’s committee raised twice the $53.2 million President Obama collected for his first inauguration.

The record haul was fueled by big checks from individuals and companies — some with interests before the government. Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson was the single largest donor, contributing $5 million, Federal Election Commission records show.

Adelson was among an array of wealthy individuals and corporate giants contributing to the celebrations, including the Bank of America, AT&T, Dow Chemical, Boeing and Quicken Loans.

Within 90 days of the inauguration, the committee must report names of donors who gave at least $200. But the Trump administration is keeping a tight lid on the issue.

Fred Wertheimer, of the Democracy 21 watchdog group, said the committee, as a nonprofit, can’t legally convert any of the funds to personal use, such as paying legal expenses for Trump aides caught up in the special counsel and congressional probes into Russian involvement in the 2016 election.

“It’s not a piggybank,” he said.

Steve Kerrigan, who served as chief of staff for Obama’s first inaugural committee and chairman for his second inauguration, said it’s “shocking” that Trump’s team is not disclosing more information about how they are spending the record amount they collected for relatively modest celebrations. Trump attended three official balls, for instance, compared to Obama’s 10.

“It is alarming that you would potentially have at least $50 million left over and no sense of how it was spent,” he said.

Kerrigan, who is running for Congress from Massachusetts, said if he’s elected, he would draft a bill to create more transparency in inaugural spending.

Did Trump pocket over $50M From his inaugural funds? We may never know.

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