According to filings with the Federal Election Commission, the Trump campaign and an associated joint fundraising committee moved huge sums of donor cash into the ex-president’s business across a time period including the aftermath of the 2020 presidential election, after Trump lost. The Trump campaign and associated fundraising committee paid the ex-president’s business for items like “rent, airfare, lodging and other expenses,” Forbes explains. Overall, the Trump campaign dished out some $2.8 million in this fashion, significantly growing the Trump family business’s accounts. The fundraising committee moved money into the ex-president’s business at an even higher rate — overall, some $4.3 million of committee money went to the Trump Organization.
Some $81,000 of the money from the campaign and $331,000 of the money from the committee went to the Trump family business in the aftermath of the ex-president’s election loss. The time period covered by the numbers for the larger overall totals stretches from January 20, 2017 — when Trump formally moved to run for re-election — to December 31, 2020. Although the payments seem to have been legal, Trump — who never cut financial ties with his business while in office — made money from his political endeavors in a very literal sense. Forbes recounts substantial expenses like $294,000 that the joint fundraising committee dished out to the Trump family business in November, which covered expenses like space rental.
As Forbes noted, although some of the amounts aren’t “a life-changing amount of money for Trump,” the amounts “would be [substantial] for most people, including many of the donors who chipped in to support Trump’s campaign.”
These transactions between the Trump campaign and his business aren’t even the only ways that Trump literally made money off his political antics. Trump’s new super PAC ended last year with over $31 million on hand, and as Forbes noted, he “raised most of the money for his new PAC by drumming up false claims about election fraud,” and most of this money never even supported the legal fight at all. Instead, millions of dollars went to ads. In other words, Trump was running a personally profitable public relations campaign while pushing his ludicrous claims of imaginary widespread election fraud.