As President Donald Trump prepares for the 2020 general election, he is spending huge amounts of money at his own properties, meaning that he’s quite literally profiting from his position. New filings with the Federal Election Commission covering the fourth quarter of 2019 reveal that in those months alone, his campaign spent a whopping $194,247.57 in the family, so to speak, meaning that figure includes expenses like usage of Trump-branded properties, payments for the family, and more. That brings the total amount of cash that’s gone from the Trump 2020 campaign to a Trump pocket up to at least over $1.8 million, according to researcher Anna Massoglia, who’s with the campaign finance watchdog group Open Secrets.
‘New @FEC filing: Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign paid $194,247.57 to Trump family members, properties & businesses in the final quarter of last year alone—steering over $1.8 MILLION in donations from presidential campaign donors to @realDonaldTrump ‘s private interests.’
New @FEC filing: Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign paid $194,247.57 to Trump family members, properties & businesses in the final quarter of last year alone—steering over $1.8 MILLION in donations from presidential campaign donors to @realDonaldTrump's private interests. pic.twitter.com/ell9EtWkDH
— Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) February 1, 2020
An example that she included from the filing includes listings for rent payments at Trump Tower, facility rentals at Trump hotels, “legal and IT consulting” from the Trump Corporation, and even a travel reimbursement for Lara Trump, who is the president’s daughter-in-law. (She’s married to Eric and works as a campaign official.)
The latest filing also includes evidence of the huge amount of money that the Trump campaign has spent on legal fees. The fourth quarter of 2019 hosted, of course, the intensification of the Ukraine scandal, which centers on Trump’s own attempt to bribe that country into investigating his political opponents. Apparently, Trump’s role in the aftermath of the scandal’s revelation has been expensive — and at least in part, he’s been billing the campaign.
‘Trump ‘s new @FEC disclosure shows his re-election campaign spending $1.4+ million on legal consulting & lawyer fees in the 4th quarter of 2019 alone—roughly $12.4 MILLION since @realDonaldTrump became President facing Mueller investigation, Stormy Daniels lawsuit, impeachment…’
Perhaps the excuse for billing the campaign is that the legal efforts are meant to protect the candidate? Americans across the country have essentially been duped into paying the legal bills for a struggling wannabe mob boss whose behavior has finally partially caught up with him. The explicit tie to Trump’s campaign is ironic since that’s exactly the kind of thing that Democrats have been talking about for all this time. The evidence ties Trump’s attempt to procure an investigation from Ukraine to his worry about the 2020 election rather than some longstanding altruistic concern about supposed corruption overseas.
Iowa’s Senator Joni Ernst (R) made the connection even more clear when the other night, she commented to reporters:
‘Iowa caucuses are this next Monday evening. And I’m really interested to see how this discussion today informs and influences the Iowa caucus voters, those Democratic caucus goers. Will they be supporting VP Biden at this point?’
There’s a chance to get all of this corruption out of office this November. At present, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders lead the pack of Democratic presidential primary candidates, and — as Ernst pointed out — the first votes will be tallied soon. In most polls, both of those two lead Trump in hypothetical general election match-ups.