It appears the Donald has no ethical boundaries when it comes to making a buck, or 12 million. According to federal documents obtained by CNN, Trump paid over $12.5 million to his own businesses and family members during his 18-month presidential campaign, and all of the money came directly from his own campaign donated funds.
“No candidate had ever run so much of a campaign’s spending through his own businesses,” one campaign finance watchdog said in a statement.
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen one like this,” said Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center.
As CNN reports, the biggest beneficiary was Tag Air Inc., a Trump-owned company that operates his airplanes and was paid $8.7 million. The next biggest payment — $2.2 million — went to Trump Payroll Corp. and Trump Tower Commercial LLC.
The report shows big and small ticket items.
Trump’s hotels and golf clubs received $1.4 million. Some $238,000 went to Trump restaurants and food services. His son’s company, Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing, got $32,196.
Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Palm Beach estate, got $423,371. Trump Ice, his bottled water company, got $2,085. Then there are Trump’s restaurants in Trump Tower. The campaign paid Trump Grill $607. Trump Cafe got $94.
“The issue here was the scale at which it was done,” Noble said. “He had these businesses. He could do it at such a tremendous scale.”
“If he did it legally and it was in the ordinary course of business, you have to say that he’s allowed to do that,” Noble said. “But if he was doing it to make a profit off of it, and he charged more than he was supposed to have charged, then there is a problem,” Noble added.