Trump Shifted Campaign-Donor Money Into His Private Business After Losing The Election

Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, which never received a cent from the former president, moved an estimated $2.8 million of donor money into the Trump Organization—including at least $81,000 since Trump lost the election.

In addition, one of the campaign’s joint-fundraising committees, which collects money in partnership with the Republican Party, shifted about $4.3 million of donor money into Trump’s business from January 20, 2017, to December 31, 2020—at least $331,000 of which came after the election.

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The money covered the cost of rent, airfare, lodging and other expenses. All the payments are laid out in filings the campaign submitted to the Federal Election Commission. Representatives for the Trump Organization, the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Two days after the election, on November 5, the joint-fundraising committee paid $11,000 to Trump’s hotel empire. A week later—after the Associated Press, Fox News and other major media outlets had already called the race for Joe Biden—the same committee put another $294,000 into Trump’s hotel business to rent space, order catering and pay for lodging. The campaign pitched in additional change—$110 that had been earmarked for recount efforts on November 16, another $220 the following day and $189 more the day after that.

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On November 19, the campaign paid $31,000 for air travel to a company named DT Endeavor LLC. Five days later, the joint-fundraising committee paid the same entity $39,000. Forbes did not include those payments in its overall total of money moving into Trump’s empire, since it’s not 100% clear that t he former president owns DT Endeavor LLC. There are strong indications that he does, though. The federal filings list the address for the DT Endeavor LLC as Trump Tower in one spot and Mar-a-Lago in another. Trump also owns an aviation company with an almost identical name, DT Endeavor I LLC.

Whether or not Trump owns DT Endeavor LLC, he certainly controls several other companies collecting money from the campaign. On November 20, one of Trump’s joint-fundraising committees paid $20,000 to his hotel outfit.

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Less than a week after that, the campaign paid $3,000 in rent to Trump Restaurants LLC, which the former president owns outright. That company appears to be connected to a souvenir stand in the basement of Trump Tower.

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On December 1, nearly a month after the election, the campaign handed over $38,000 in rent to Trump Tower Commercial LLC, the company through which Trump owns his stake in the famous Fifth Avenue tower. Fifteen days later, the campaign sent another $3,000 to Trump Restaurants LLC and added $38,000 more for Trump Tower Commercial LLC. In all, the postelection payments from the campaign and its joint-fundraising committee add up to $413,000—or $484,000, if you include the money that flowed into DT Endeavor LLC, according to a review of the filings.

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That’s not a life-changing amount of money for Trump, who is worth an estimated $2.5 billion. But it would be for most people, including many of the donors who chipped in to support Trump’s campaign.

Source: Forbes

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