There’s some really terrific news coming out of Donald Trump’s latest filings with the Federal Elections Commission. Oh sure, his campaign doesn’t have much cash. But this campaign has been GREAT for companies owned by Donald Trump and members of Donald Trump’s family!
As it turns out, when he said he was self-funding, he didn’t so much mean he was paying for his own campaign. He meant his campaign was funding him. By the end of May, the Trump campaign only had about $1.3 million cash on hand, compared to Hillary Clinton’s $42 million total cash on hand, which New York magazine helpfully notes is “roughly 32 times the available cash of the Trump campaign.” In terms of total fundraising, Clinton has raised about $240 million for her campaign since announcing, and Trump just $17 million. All those free hours and hours of coverage of Trump speeches by cable news has certainly helped him save a few pence on advertising, of course. In May, Trump only received $3.1 million, and spent $6.7 million. He also loaned his own campaign $2.2 million.
But the really fun stuff is just how much money went to companies owned by Donald Trump and his family. Let’s look at where that money ended up going! In May alone, Trump “paid at least $1.1 million to his businesses and family members in May for expenses associated with events and travel costs.” Let us count the ways!
- $350,000 to a Trump-owned company, TAG Air (you know it stands for “Trump Air Group,” so it’s not only narcissistic, it’s redundant!) for keeping Trump’s planes and helicopters shuttling him around the country.
- $423,372 for catering and rentals at Trump’s private club, Mar-A-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida. HuffPo notes that total, though paid out in May, “likely covers a number of campaign events Trump has staged there in recent months.” The Trump campaign didn’t reply to HuffPo’s request for an itemized list, if you can imagine that.
- $125,080 to Trump Restaurants for rent and utilities.
- $72,800 for rent and utilities to Trump Tower Commercial, where Trump’s campaign headquarters are located.
- $35,845 to Trump National Golf Club, in Jupiter, Florida, for facilities rental and catering.
- $29,715 to Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida, also for facilities rental and catering.
So Florida’s definitely seeing an economic boost from this whole horror show.
Oh, and then there’s the $4,000 he paid to his son Eric’s wine company. That’s like pocket change. Or it would be for Hillary — Maybe in future months the Trump campaign may need to go easy on the vino. The New York Times notes that Trump has pledged not to take a salary if he becomes president. But while he’s running, he will: He paid himself $3,085, which is not CEO pay, but is still more than a slow-typing blogger gets (and, fine, FAR more than a slow-typing blogger earns).
If you don’t mind a bit of overlap (and apparently Donald doesn’t, haw-haw!), there’s also this fun list making its way around the tweeterz, although it only contains payments to businesses with “Trump” actually in the name:
So that’s some math — and we’ll close with this intriguing thought from Josh Marshall, editor of Talking Points Memo:
Why, yes, we believe now would be a good time to start drinking. It’s not like Trump didn’t warn us, after all. Way back in 2000, he infamously told Fortune magazine, “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.”