DOnald Trump won’t be on the ballot when Americans go to the polls a week from today, but his political apparatus continues to raise and disburse more money than most midterm candidates. mandate. Some of the places where Trump’s groups go: his own properties, according to a review of Federal Election Commission records. Since losing the 2020 election, the former president has turned more than $1.4 million of donor money into business revenue by charging his political entities for accommodation, food, rent and travel.
One of the biggest payouts took place about a month ago, when a group named Save America handed over $82,000 to Trump’s hotel empire, according to documents filed by the FEC. Save America is classified as a leadership PAC, the type of entity politicians often use to distribute money to their allies. Trump, who raised $139 million through Save America, appears to be hoarding most of the money. Save America spent $69 million, but records show only $25 million went to other committees, with the majority covering operating expenses, including payments to Trump properties.
That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Between the time he took office and the day he lost the 2020 election, Trump funneled $2.7 million of campaign money into his private company. Millions more poured into the Trump organization from the Republican National Committee and the former president’s joint fundraising committees. From Election Day through the end of 2020, Trump’s political groups spent an additional $484,000 on his properties, according to an analysis of the filings. The majority of that sum came via a one-time payment, $294,000 that went to the Trump Hotel Collection on November 12, nine days after voters went to the polls.
In 2021, Trump left office, but the money continued to flow, with the president’s joint fundraising committees, leadership PAC and former campaign pumping $729,000 into his business. More than half of this amount came in the form of rent. Trump Tower Commercial LLC, the entity that owns the offices and retail spaces inside Trump’s Fifth Avenue skyscraper, raised $375,000. This building had seen declining profits, thanks to rising property tax bills. Political payments helped provide a small boost.
Donald Trump, his business empire and his political committees did not respond to requests for comment.
In February 2022, 15 months after the end of the 2020 campaign, Trump Committees finally made their final rent payment to Trump Tower. Spending since then has mostly gone to Trump’s hotels. Save America distributed most of it, paying $146,000 this year, according to federal documents.
Other groups intervened here and there. In August 2022, a joint fundraising organization named the Trump-Graham Majority Fund, which raises money for the reelection campaign of Save America and Senator Lindsey Graham, donated $17,000 to the Trump Hotel Collection. It was the largest payment the Trump Organization had received from any of the president’s groups this year, until Save America wrote its check for $82,000 on September 29.