With his presidency still in its infancy, President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election efforts have raised tens of millions of dollars and directed funds to his companies, running up a $500,000 tab to Trump-owned hotels, golf clubs and restaurants.
Unlike his predecessors, Trump has not ceased fundraising since the election, more than doubling the amount raised by former President Barack Obama in the first quarter of his presidency. By March 31, the three Trump re-election committees had $16 million in the bank, Politico reported.
Campaign finance reports filed late Friday with the Federal Election Commission show more than 6 percent of $6.3 million spent this year went for such things as rent in Trump Tower and lodging at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, as well as catering services, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Also among the expenditures was $28,000 to Bannon Strategic Advisors for “administrative assistant/secretarial” services. The company is owned by White House chief political strategist Stephen Bannon. The web design and digital media firm run by Trump digital director Brad Parscale earned $1.6 million while Parscale himself was paid $15,000.
Trump properties received $14 million from his campaign and the Republican National Committee during the presidential campaign.
Much of the campaign spending is for merchandise, including campaign hats (the spring edition of the hat is blue), T-shirts and mugs.
The Journal said the filing reveals the campaign’s leadership is fairly well-paid, with campaign chief Michael Glassner pulling down $70,000 in the first quarter, operations director Sean Dollman drawing $55,000 and Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew John Pence, 27, drawing $40,000 as deputy executive director.
The Washington Post reported Friday the Trump campaign has raised $42.6 million for both the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, with much of the money coming from small donors kicking in $200 or less in response to email solicitations decrying “the fake news and Democrats in Congress.” At this point in his presidency, Obama and the Democratic National Committee had raised $15.8 million.