Millions in Campaign Funds Went to Trump Firms
President Trump’s campaign spent a total of $12.7 million at businesses run by him and his family members over the course of the 2016 presidential election, according to a tally of newly filed campaign-finance reports.
The largest sums went to Trump’s airline, TAG Air, which received $8.7 million as the Republican used his own jet to fly around the country, according to a USA TODAY analysis of year-end reports filed this week. Another $2 million went to Trump Tower, the Trump Organization skyscraper that housed his campaign headquarters.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, which Trump dubbed the Winter White House last month, received more than $435,000 during the campaign.
The spending at Trump properties, which continued after he won the election, underscores how much Trump was willing to mingle his political and business operations – from buying meals at his own Trump Grill to renting space at his own golf clubs.
More than $3,000 went to Trump ICE LLC, Trump’s bottled-water brand, for “office supplies,” according to Federal Election Commission filings.
In all, the amount spent at Trump businesses by his political operation represent a little more than 19% of the $66.1 million Trump himself donated to the campaign and less than 10% of the $133.6 million that flowed into his main campaign account from other donors.
The spending could well continue if he decides to seek re-election. Trump filed a statement of candidacy for the 2020 election on Inauguration Day because he had already surpassed the $5,000 fundraising threshold to require reporting contributions for the next election, he noted in a letter to the Federal Election Commission. That doesn’t mean he’s definitely running in 2020, Trump said in the filing.