The Trump campaign has paid more than $8.2 million to his family’s businesses over the course of the real estate tycoon’s presidential run. A Politico deep dive into Trump’s campaign finance filings found “an integrated business and political operation without precedent in national politics.”
Here’s a taste of what’s coming out of the Trump campaign coffers and heading directly for the Trump Organization:
– Rent for Trump campaign offices located within Trump buildings: $1.3 million
– Food from Trump-owned restaurants and rent for Trump-owned facilities for events and meetings: $544,000
– Payroll for Trump corporate staffers who are assisting the campaign effort: $333,000
All told, the Republican presidential nominee has spent around 7 percent of his total campaign expenditures on services provided by his own businesses, “an unprecedented amount of self-dealing in federal politics.” According to Politico, Trump has structured his businesses so that they may be used in this way without legal restraint.
Though even the richest politicians have refrained from padding their own pockets with fundraised dollars, Trump doesn’t appear to feel much shame about his strategy. In 2000, Trump presciently claimed, “I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”
“Most wealthy candidates separate their businesses from their campaign organizations, and that’s partly because their companies are either publicly owned or owned by multiple people,” GOP election lawyer Jason Torchinsky told Politico. “It’s unique to have somebody who is independently wealthy and is able to so thoroughly integrate a privately held company into their campaign.”