Donald Trump‘s campaign still mystifies those who harbor no intention of voting for the billionaire. Throughout the past several months, we’ve not only seen mass chaos whipped up by Trump, but also some seemingly intentional moves by Trump to sabotage his own campaign.
What is the end game, and does Trump really want to be president?
A host of conspiracy theories aim to answer that question. Quora did some digging with a new spin, which reveals a potential financial agenda on Trump’s behalf. Of course, all of this speculation is relative. Trump could make much more money by returning to the private sector than by holding public office. Still, the notion is worth exploring, especially while reflecting upon a Trump quote from a 2000 issue of Fortune: “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”
During this presidential bid, Trump has boasted about his self-funded campaign. He drags the other candidates for relying upon donations, but it turns out — according to Quora’s examination of Trump’s financial disclosure — that he no longer funds the entire shebang:
Trump loaned his campaign just over $1.8 million during the second quarter of this year, but as of Oct 1. his campaign had spent $5.4 million. Most of the balance, $3.9 million, came from donors. Some contributions are “unsolicited,” in Trump’s words, but the rest comes from buying merchandise or clicking on the large “donate” buttons on his website. As of Trump’s last filing, there was only $250,000 left in the bank to run the the campaign and pay off the loan he made to himself, though he has surely raised more money since then.
Meanwhile, Trump’s various companies have contributed some $105,000 worth of services, including salaries for Trump’s pre-existing staff, including his feisty bodyguard, and, less explicably but more expensively, rent paid to his to luxury condo buildings. His campaign has also paid $160,000 to rent space at various Trump-owned buildings, including Trump Tower on 5th Ave. The campaign’s largest expenditure is $1.2 million to the private jet company that Trump owns in order to shuttle him around the US.
Altogether, Trump has made a sweet $1.4 million simply by running for president. He flies across the nation, delivers sprawling speeches, sells t-shirts and hats that read “Make America Great,” and exchanges insults with television hosts and fellow candidates. He does much of this (aside from travel expenses) for free. Other candidates waste the majority of their funds on advertising, while Trump rakes in publicity on Twitter. His speeches are so soundbite worthy that cable news networks also hand him exposure. He’s loving this.
Presidency could be the life Trump always wanted, but he could make a lot more money by focusing energies upon his preexisting businesses.