Federal Election Commission filings obtained by CNN revealed that President Donald Trump continues to profit from his presidency, with help from the Republican National Committee.
The RNC’s spending at Trump-branded properties in 2018 surpassed $400,000 through the end of February.
As of Feb. 28, the RNC has spent more than $424,000 at properties owned by the president, the news network reported Friday. That includes $271,000 on catering and venue rentals at Trump’s properties in Florida and Washington, D.C.
The party has also paid $37,000 per month since September to rent an empty office space for the Trump campaign in the president’s namesake Trump Tower in New York. Those payments have so far totally $222,000.
The $271,000 spent in February amounted to 86 percent of the RNC’s total spending on venues and catering for the month, according to CNN. And since the beginning of 2017, 14 percent of the party’s spending on such costs has gone to Trump properties.
When he took office last year, Trump declined to liquidate his assets or place them in a blind trust. Instead, he moved to hand over day-to-day operations of his company, the Trump Organization, to his two elder sons, Donald Jr. and Eric.
But the arrangement has drawn scrutiny from ethics experts, who have raised questions about conflicts of interest and whether the president could profit from his decisions in the Oval Office.
An RNC official told the news network that security and convenience among the reasons for choosing the president’s properties.