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Donald Trump's campaign funnels cash to Mar-a-Lago, other businesses

  
Via:  TᵢG  •  2 months ago  •  76 comments

By:   Zac Anderson and Erin Mansfield

Donald Trump's campaign funnels cash to Mar-a-Lago, other businesses
Trump's campaign and affiliated committees have spent more than $800,000 at Trump properties since the start of 2023.

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Critical Thinkers

If true, this would not surprise me in the slightest.   Indeed, anyone who finds this to be out of character for Trump is entirely out of touch with this scoundrel.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Donald Trump's main 2024 White House campaign fundraising operation sharply increased spending at the former president's properties in recent months, funneling money into his businesses at a time when he is facing serious legal jeopardy and desperately needs cash.

Trump's joint fundraising committee wrote three checks in February and one in March to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, totaling $411,287 and another in March to Trump National Doral Miami for $62,337, according to a report filed to the Federal Election Commission this week.

Federal law and FEC regulations allow donor funds to be spent at a candidate's business so long as the campaign pays fair market value, experts say. Trump has been doing it for years, shifting millions in campaign cash into his sprawling business empire to pay for expenses such as using his personal aircraft for political events, rent at Trump Tower and events at his properties, which has included hotels and private clubs.

While the practice is legal, some campaign finance experts believe it raises ethical concerns when a candidate is generating personal revenue off running for office.

"When voters see something like this happening it contributes to their distrust of the political system and their elected officials' motives," said Shanna Ports, senior legal counsel with the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit government accountability group.

Trump faces huge legal costs amid multiple civil and criminal cases


The money Trump's campaign is spending at his businesses could help the former president as he faces a big cash crunch.

Trump has been hit with a pair of large financial judgements after losing two civil lawsuits.

He posted a $91.6 million bond in a defamation case brought by the writer E. Jean Carroll, and a $175 million bond in a fraud case involving falsifying business records. The New York attorney general is challenging whether the deal Trump made to post the larger bond payment is financially sound.

The payments Trump's campaign has made to his businesses are small compared to his large court-ordered financial judgements, but have been growing in recent months.

The Trump campaign and affiliated political committees paid businesses owned by Trump at least $4.9 million since the start of 2023, according to an analysis by USA TODAY. Most of that money - $4.1 million - went to TAG Air, Inc. for air travel.

Trump lists TAG Air, Inc among his assets on his latest financial disclosure required of presidential candidates, with a value of between $5 million and $25 million. It operates his private aircraft, nicknamed Trump Force One.

Trump's various campaign committees and a super PAC controlled by his supporters also spent at least $809,000 at his properties since the beginning of last year.

Campaign spending at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Doral in Miami


The bulk of the campaign spending at Trump's properties since the start of 2023 — $663,000 — has been at Mar-a-Lago, and most of it occurred in February. It's not clear what events the money went toward.

A Trump spokeswoman did not respond to specific questions about the campaign spending at his properties but instead sent a statement attacking President Joe Biden.

Other GOP candidates also have been spending considerable campaign cash at Trump properties.

Ohio Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bernie Moreno's campaign spent $109,000 on "event catering" at Mar-a-Lago in April, December and January of 2023, records show. Trump endorsed Moreno in December. Moreno won the primary in March and will face three-term Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in November.

Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Jim Marchant's campaign spent about $67,000 at Mar-a-Lago on "event venue rental and catering" in November and December. Trump backed Marchant in his unsuccessful bid to be Nevada's secretary of state in 2022. Marchant is now seeking to unseat first-term Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen.

A PAC called Giuliani Defense spent $2,400 on fundraising expenses and food at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey in January. That PAC has spent $540,000 on legal fees, according to FEC filings. Trump hosted a fundraiser for Rudy Giuliani at Bedminster in September to help with the former New York mayor's legal costs, which stem in part from the criminal charges Giuliani faces in Fulton County, Georgia, for trying to help Trump overturn the 2020 election.

Trump hosted a party at Mar-a-Lago on March 5 with a large group of supporters to watch the Super Tuesday primary election results from 16 states. He also held a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago in October that drew hundreds of supporters, including U.S. Reps Marjorie Taylor Green and Byron Donalds, Texas attorney general Ken Paxton and the actress Roseanne Barr.

Another fundraiser at Trump National Doral in March was hosted by former Ambassador Carlos Trujillo, with the money benefiting the Make America Great Again, Inc. super PAC.

The Trump Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, which raises money for Trump's campaign and his Save America leadership PAC accounted for the majority of the spending at Trump properties, with other expenses paid for by Trump's main campaign committee, the MAGA Inc. super PAC and Save America.

Concerns about Trump's business conflicts go back to 2016 election


Questions about how Trump's businesses have benefited from his political career have swirled around him throughout the former president's three campaigns and his four years in the White House.

Under pressure to avoid potential conflicts of interest between his role as president and his vast business dealings, Trump declared after winning the 2016 election that he wouldn't cut any "new deals." The incoming president also put his two adult sons in charge of the family business, which was controlled by a trust that critics said didn't have strong enough requirements to prevent potential ethical conflicts.

Lawsuits accusing Trump of violating the emoluments clauses in the Constitution during his presidency were unsuccessful. Critics said those seeking to influence Trump's administration funneled money into his businesses, including a hotel near the White House in Washington, D.C. that has since been sold and rebranded as a Waldorf Astoria.

America Democracy Legal Fund filed a complaint with the FEC in 2016 alleging "Mr. Trump is using funds from his presidential campaign to further his business and personal interests." The complaint was dismissed, but concerns remain in the minds of some campaign finance experts.

"People should be running for office because they want to serve the public, not because they want to enrich themselves," Ports said. "So the fact that campaigns are allowed to pay the candidate's business raises those concerns. While legal, it creates kind of a negative impression of the election system."

Richard Briffault, a legislation professor at Columbia Law School, said Trump's use of campaign funds at his businesses may not be illegal, but it's "a little bit dicey."

'Nobody's ever seen anything like it'


Briffault said the only comparable political candidate with such a sprawling business may be former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who ran for president as a Democrat, but even then, they're not an exact comparison. "Everything with Trump, nobody's ever seen anything like it," he said.

The primary thing Trump's businesses need to do is charge his campaign and PACs the same amount they would charge any other paying customer for the services. But there's also an ethical question of whether the campaign and PACs could get a better deal somewhere else.

"How much are they charging? And to what extent are they putting people up who might be staying someplace else that might be cheaper?" Briffault asked. "You could imagine that there could be cheaper venues to these things, but they're purposely holding them there."

Trump's leadership PAC also has been spending vast sums on attorneys as the president faces four criminal cases. He currently is on trial in New York City in a case involving alleged payments to an adult film star during the 2016 presidential campaign to keep her quiet about an alleged sexual affair.

Since days after the 2020 election, the leadership PAC Save America spent more than $72.5 million on legal bills to many of the same firms that are representing him in his civil and criminal cases. That fund accounts for the bulk of his legal spending, but his affiliated committees have spent millions more.

Spending money on legal issues is not unusual for a campaign, but campaign finance experts say Trump has pushed the boundaries of what is allowable.


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TᵢG
Professor Principal
1  seeder  TᵢG    2 months ago

Go ahead Trump supporters, keep handing Trump your hard-earned money.   

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  TᵢG @1    2 months ago

just wait until the small donors get leaned on with the "how maga are you" membership levels, it's coming...

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.1.1  CB  replied to  devangelical @1.1    2 months ago

Trump has already struck a base hit (first base):  

Trump demands 5% cut from GOP candidates who use his 'name, image and likeness' in ads

The Grand Old Party ain't its "grand pappy's" anymore - heck it's not even its "daddy" GOP anymore. It's Trump's Party and this will be the 'way' of the new stuff to come. Stand-by GOP. Y'all ain't seen nothing yet.!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.2  CB  replied to  TᵢG @1    2 months ago

Trump realizes that this "cash cow" of GOP is right where he wants it: Teats hanging over the pails. . . 'er donation plates. No offense to girls or women intended. This is an explanation for why the Trump essentially and often (if not daily) reminds MAGAs that he is "doing this for them" - the implied meaning being ("Thus, you should pay for what I am going through—for your sakes.") So far, the "Right" enjoys watching Trump "own" the libs through his travails against them. In that sense, "the workman is worthy of his hire" —I guess. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3  devangelical  replied to  TᵢG @1    2 months ago

how'd you like to have the job of FEC compliance for trump's campaign?

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.3.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  devangelical @1.3    2 months ago

I thought you liked TiG

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3.2  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.3.1    2 months ago

sarcasm. don't start any shit among the sane here you unrepentant troublemaker...

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.3.3  Trout Giggles  replied to  devangelical @1.3.2    2 months ago

You love me anyway

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3.4  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.3.3    2 months ago

meh, I have a thing for unrepentant troublemakers, that aren't maga dipshits...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3.5  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @1.3.4    2 months ago

who you gonna listen to, me or people that need velcro to keep their shoes on...

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.3.6  CB  replied to  devangelical @1.3.5    2 months ago

Leave velcro alone, please. It's holding my back supporter on quite tightly and nicely right this very moment. :)

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3.7  devangelical  replied to  CB @1.3.6    2 months ago

the physical invoice has arrived for all that disco in the 80's ...

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
1.3.8  CB  replied to  devangelical @1.3.7    2 months ago

Why I oughta. . . ! You 'rascal' you—remembered my telling of 'back in the day'!   Bless you (really) devangelical!  :) :) :)

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3.9  devangelical  replied to  CB @1.3.8    2 months ago

I have my moments.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3.10  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @1.3.9    2 months ago

... although fewer and farther in between now.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3.11  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @1.3.10    2 months ago

I'm on the glide path to obscurity...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.3.12  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @1.3.11    2 months ago

just hoping to avoid the messiness of a maga induced federal retirement plan...

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2  Buzz of the Orient    2 months ago

IMO I think it's time for the American government to spend a lot more money on mental health care and build a lot more insane asylums for Trump supporters. 

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1  Tessylo  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @2    2 months ago

They're going to have to have a whole new DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) of the American Psychiatric Society devoted to this sickness/mental illness/cult mentality

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Expert
2.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tessylo @2.1    2 months ago

You're right.  In my memory I cannot remember anything like it - perhaps the mentality goes back to the middle ages.  I'll bet a main cause of the problem is the internet and social media sites, besides the fact that the media can no longer be trusted, the kind of trust people had for Walter Cronkite and when The Christian Science Monitor won the awards back in the 1950s for being the most unbiased newspaper in America - an award that is impossible to award these days. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Expert
3  sandy-2021492    2 months ago

Wasn't his financial independence one of his early selling points?  That didn't last long.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
3.1  evilone  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3    2 months ago
Wasn't his financial independence one of his early selling points?  That didn't last long.

Did he ever self fund anything?

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.1.1  devangelical  replied to  evilone @3.1    2 months ago

he's so rich, he doesn't need to spend any of his own money...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.1.2  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @3.1.1    2 months ago

it's probably the first thing he learned as a kid...

 
 
 
MrFrost
Professor Guide
3.1.3  MrFrost  replied to  evilone @3.1    2 months ago

Did he ever self fund anything?

Yes, he self funded his donation website. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.1.4  devangelical  replied to  evilone @3.1    2 months ago
Did he ever self fund anything?
  • clandestine abortions
  • his hair replacements
  • plastic surgery for the women in his life
 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1.5  Tessylo  replied to  devangelical @3.1.4    2 months ago

Now that's the truth!

I bet there were a lot of abortions.

The plastic surgery so they can look as much like Ivanka as possible. 

You have to wonder what plastic surgery Ivanka HASN'T HAD.  

I saw an interview with the playboy bunny he was boffing and boy she is not too bright.  She saw the turd as charming and funny and handsome.  Barf!  My former office manager thought he was handsome when he was younger and I'm sure many people see that also, but I don't get it at all.  I never knew much about the turd before he got into politics other than the book the art of the steal and how people looked up to him and I will never get that at all.  

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.1.6  devangelical  replied to  Tessylo @3.1.5    2 months ago

I used to watch his apprentice show when it first came out. he's so repetitious we turned it into a drinking game.

 
 
 
GregTx
Professor Guide
3.1.7  GregTx  replied to  devangelical @3.1.6    2 months ago
he's so repetitious

No doubt...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
3.2  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3    2 months ago

he's rich. he has his own money. he isn't for sale to anyone... ...in this country ...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4  Kavika     2 months ago

Wow, it never ends with this guy.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Kavika @4    2 months ago

And his supporters just keep on defending him.   

 
 
 
Gsquared
Professor Principal
4.1.1  Gsquared  replied to  TᵢG @4.1    2 months ago

And sending him $$$.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.2  CB  replied to  TᵢG @4.1    2 months ago

And thus the performance art by Trump on a daily basis. This Trump "$how" we are privileged to watch or compelled to watch depending on one's perspective will dry up and dissipate (he will go away) if the RNC and his supporters stop footing the bills, plural! Trump himself it has been reported is a notorious "cheap-skate."

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
4.1.3  Kavika   replied to  TᵢG @4.1    2 months ago
And his supporters just keep on defending him. 

No matter what the charge or accusation, blind loyalty and not seeing the bus headed their way.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.4  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Kavika @4.1.3    2 months ago

Blind loyalty to Trump for some, blind loyalty to the GOP for others.   In the Trump case, they probably think the bus is there to pick them up and take them to Mar-a-Lago.   Trump loyalists are, IMO, leaving in an alternate reality.   In the GOP loyalty case, they just do not care as long as the bus has GOP painted on its side.  Bill Barr is the most recent example of an individual who knows the bus is bad news but will take the hit if it is a GOP bus.

It is interesting and pathetic how so many refuse to admit they are voting for Trump (or claim they are not voting for Trump or Biden) yet constantly defend / make excuses for Trump while engaging in over-the-top hyperbolic attacks on Biden.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.5  devangelical  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.4    2 months ago

I noticed the "sleepy joe" meme has run out of steam with their hero dozing off in court...

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
4.1.6  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  devangelical @4.1.5    2 months ago

I do not know why it should.   Biden is criticized for lying by those who defend the most notable liar in modern times.   Hypocrisy apparently does not matter.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.7  devangelical  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.6    2 months ago

you definitely have a point there...

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Principal
4.1.8  Sean Treacy  replied to  TᵢG @4.1.6    2 months ago
 Biden is criticized for lying by those who defend the most notable liar in modern times.

The irony....

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.9  devangelical  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.8    2 months ago

ladies and gentlemen, the new maga republican party...

 
 
 
Thomas
Senior Guide
4.1.10  Thomas  replied to  TᵢG @4.1    2 months ago
And his supporters just keep on defending him.   

When they really should be de-funding him....

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.11  devangelical  replied to  Thomas @4.1.10    2 months ago

his creditors are getting ready to play the world's most expensive game of musical chairs.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.12  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @4.1.11    2 months ago

... too bad for them the court gets paid first.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
4.1.13  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @4.1.12    2 months ago

cha-ching...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
5  devangelical    2 months ago

laundering campaign money for personal use thru layers of llc's and dba's...

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
5.1  Tessylo  replied to  devangelical @5    2 months ago

and that's not a crime, right?

lol

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
5.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Tessylo @5.1    2 months ago

not in maga world...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6  devangelical    2 months ago

gee, I wonder what country his defective spawn will be moving to after his inevitable salad ingredient accumulation parade in DC...

 
 
 
MrFrost
Professor Guide
6.1  MrFrost  replied to  devangelical @6    2 months ago

If I had to make an educated guess? Russia or possibly Saudi Arabia. 

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.1  devangelical  replied to  MrFrost @6.1    2 months ago

they could probably make it to either, if they fly commercial...

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.2  devangelical  replied to  MrFrost @6.1    2 months ago

kushner is scouting locations now...

he needs a country connected to international banking and no extradition treaty with the US.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.3  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @6.1.2    2 months ago

... and not too picky about cash cleanliness.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.1.4  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @6.1.3    2 months ago

... or the law in general.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
7  Ronin2    2 months ago
Federal law and FEC regulations allow donor funds to be spent at a candidate's business so long as the campaign pays fair market value, experts say. Trump has been doing it for years, shifting millions in campaign cash into his sprawling business empire to pay for expenses such as using his personal aircraft for political events, rent at Trump Tower and events at his properties, which has included hotels and private clubs. While the practice is legal,

It is legal- end of story. Full fucking stop.

All of the TDS pearl clenching is for nothing.

This whole article is beyond pathetic.

The reactions posted moreso.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
7.1  seeder  TᵢG  replied to  Ronin2 @7    2 months ago
It is legal- end of story.

The story is about ethics.   

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.1.1  devangelical  replied to  TᵢG @7.1    2 months ago

... that explains the scant participation by maga republicans.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
7.1.2  devangelical  replied to  devangelical @7.1.1    2 months ago

maga wouldn't survive without technicalities and loopholes...

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
8  Trout Giggles    2 months ago
"When voters see something like this happening it contributes to their distrust of the political system and their elected officials' motives," said Shanna Ports, senior legal counsel with the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit government accountability group.

Not trmp voters. They don't care how unethical his practices are.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
8.1  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @8    2 months ago

4 criminal indictments with 88 pending felony counts. he couldn't get a job at mc d's and he's the GOP candidate for POTUS...

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.1  CB  replied to  devangelical @8.1    2 months ago

SAY ON.  It would seem that 'owing the libs' has taken on a dark persona. . . .  And, the GOP is transitioning from political party to a what the "h' are you, enterprise?

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
8.1.2  devangelical  replied to  CB @8.1.1    2 months ago

I used to know some reasonable republicans...

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.3  CB  replied to  devangelical @8.1.2    2 months ago

Yes, those were Moderates

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
8.1.4  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @8.1.3    2 months ago

Do you have names of Dems / Repubs that are current moderates?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.5  CB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @8.1.4    2 months ago

Moderate politicians do exist in congress in  The Problem Solvers Caucus  ( See here  ).  

About 
The Problem Solvers Caucus is a group of 64 Members of Congress — evenly split between Republicans and Democrats — committed to advancing common-sense solutions to key issues facing our nation. Our Members sit down together every week to debate, exchange ideas, and find common ground. 

Note: This is what I plan to share on the issue of moderates and you can research it for its  'list.' I do not plan to spell them out individually for you. :)

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
8.1.6  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @8.1.5    2 months ago

Let’s discuss the number of moderates from both Parties against the total House membership.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.7  CB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @8.1.6    2 months ago

A discussion about moderates is not the topic; it was a passing remark by Devangelical for which I dallied, but we must return to the main article now.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
8.1.8  devangelical  replied to  CB @8.1.7    2 months ago

oh look, somebody misses sharing foxholes with the DADT infantry...

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.9  CB  replied to  devangelical @8.1.8    2 months ago

Not sure how to process this comment. But, I support you in mentioning moderates, so I want to be clear about it.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
8.1.10  devangelical  replied to  CB @8.1.9    2 months ago

your stalker is retired military.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
8.1.11  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  devangelical @8.1.8    2 months ago
somebody misses sharing foxholes with the DADT infantry...

Oh look, another homophobic comment from the left.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
8.1.12  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  devangelical @8.1.10    2 months ago

And a current DA civilian. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
8.1.13  CB  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @8.1.12    2 months ago
DA

Please elaborate.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
8.1.14  devangelical  replied to  CB @8.1.13    2 months ago

my guess is dumb ass...

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
8.1.15  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  CB @8.1.13    2 months ago

Department of the Army.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Junior Expert
8.1.16  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  devangelical @8.1.14    2 months ago

Guessing is what you do when clueless but feel the need to comment anyway.

 
 

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