With all the discussion about Donald Trump’s conflicting political and business interests, the real estate mogul’s level of corruption remains hazy. However, in an exclusive investigation by Politico of Trump’s campaign finance filings, it has been revealed that Trump is, in fact, making a lot of money from his campaign through self-dealing.
On Thursday, Politico reported that Trump’s financial gains from his presidential candidacy have already brought in $8.2 million in profits for his businesses.
Politico detailed that the legal structures of Trump’s businesses aren’t clear, so the estimated $8.2 million may be a fraction of what he’s actually made. If Trump were to release his taxes, the financial structure between his businesses and his campaign would become less opaque.
However, some of the numbers are very clear. Trump’s campaign has used his own businesses for services from traveling security to his wife’s infamous Republican convention speech. Specifically, his campaign paid $1.3 million in rent to his own businesses for office spaces, $544,000 in food and facilities for events and meetings, and $333,000 in payroll for his corporate staff members.
A statement issued by the Trump campaign pressed that he was abiding by the law. The campaign said, “Mr. Trump has largely self-funded his campaign and continues to make significant contributions which far exceed the amounts of the campaign is required to pay. The campaign has used known quantities as far as event space, air travel and accommodations, and has fulfilled all FEC requirements throughout the campaign.”
The bottom line is that the copious amount of money which Trump has earned so far from running for president exceeds that of any other previous presidential candidate, even the most wealthy former candidates.
It will be interesting to see how he handles these accusations in the coming weeks' presidential debates, and how Clinton can use this evidence to lob even more corruption charges at him.
Banner photo credit: Reuters