President Donald Trump speaks on “Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure: Faster, Better, Stronger” in Atlanta on July 15.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump’s properties have grossed more than $ 17 million thanks to the Trump campaign and its joint fundraising committees since 2016.
This includes nearly $ 400,000 recently paid by Trump Victory, Trump’s joint fundraising committee with the Republican National Committee, to the Trump Hotel Collection.
Payments to the president’s business came in the second quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic spread. The payments were largely for the retirement of RNC donors at Trump’s private compound in Mar-a-Lago in early March, just before the end of the first quarter, according to a Republican official familiar with the matter.
During the week-long event, Trump tried to reassure donors that his administration had everything under control regarding the virus, as CNBC first reported. Vice President Mike Pence at the time echoed Trump’s sense of calm.
President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago complex is seen November 1, 2019 in Palm Beach, Florida.
Following this gathering, Trump and the RNC have chosen to participate in an entirely virtual campaign, including for fundraising events. A person familiar with the matter said that even though the meeting took place in March, payments appeared on the second quarter filing due to a delay in processing payments at the onset of Covid-19. The second quarter filing shows data ranging from April to June.
The second quarter payments to Trump Hotels were first reported by Anna Massoglia, a researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics, or CRP.
Beyond Trump’s hotels paying the massive six-figure totals, a company run by a business ally of the president has also seen campaign spending arrive. Las Vegas Sands, the massive casino company owned by longtime Trump and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, received payments from Trump Victory in the last quarter.
The payments totaled nearly $ 250,000 and they came on the heels of the president wanting to participate in a fundraiser in March at Adelson’s home. This rally and the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual event were ultimately called off. The RJC conference was scheduled to take place at the Venetian, a property of Sands.
Adelson and many other major casino owners have had their facilities mostly closed for months due to the pandemic.
Payments from suppliers to Trump’s hotels have harassed government ethics experts and sparked debates over whether his company benefits from his presidency.
An RNC official has defended holding events at facilities owned by Trump.
“We are hosting some of our events at Trump’s properties because they are great venues that meet our needs,” the official said.
Tim Murtaugh, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, said, “The campaign pays fair market value and follows all FEC laws and regulations.”
A representative of the Trump organization did not respond to a request for comment.
CRP data shows that in the 2020 election cycle alone, Trump’s properties were paid for nearly $ 4 million by the presidential campaign, the RNC, and joint committees, including thousands of dollars at Trump Tower, Trump Restaurants and Mar-a-Lago.
The same groups paid Trump’s companies nearly $ 13 million in the 2016 election, data shows.