President Donald Trump’s campaign has directed nearly $500,000 to Trump-owned properties, according to a Wall Street Journal tally of Federal Election Commission reports published Saturday.
Trump, who filed paperwork for his 2020 re-election campaign on Inauguration Day, has shifted management of his businesses to his sons via a revocable trust. He maintains ownership of the businesses, and a clause in the trust allows him to receive income from them without disclosing the transactions.
The Journal reported that Trump’s re-election campaign, and its affiliated joint party committees, have paid nearly $500,000 to Trump hotels, golf clubs and restaurants, more than 6 percent of the campaign’s $6.3 million in spending from January through March.
The expenses included rent in Trump Tower and lodging, facilities rentals and catering at hotels and golf resorts.
By December 31, according to a tally by Politico, Trump’s 2016 campaign had paid $12.8 million to his own businesses, including to TAG Air for Trump’s use of his own airplane, and to Trump Tower to for rent on his campaign headquarters.
Politico reported Saturday that a trio of Trump committees — Donald J. Trump for President, Trump Victory and Trump Make America Great Again Committee, the latter two of which are joint committees with the Republican National Committee — had collectively raised $13.2 million for the campaign from January through March. The groups reportedly paid $4.7 for Trump-branded merchandise, including the now-iconic “Make America Great Again” hat, which was a large source of Trump’s fundraising muscle.
The President is regularly seen wearing the merchandise, including at his Mar-a-Lago property, dubbed the Southern White House by his staff. The club reportedly doubled its initial membership fee to $200,000 in January.
Eric Trump, who now manages the Trump Organization with his brother, spoke with Fox News about foreign policy at the White House Monday. And he told Forbes in late March that, despite promises to the contrary, he would brief his father on the businesses “probably quarterly.”