'I Could Be the First Presidential Candidate to Run and Make Money on It'
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The Donald J. Trump for President campaign has paid Trump family businesses at least $8.2 million, according to a report in Politico.
Campaign expenses, including food, wine, office space, payroll, lodging, rent, utilities, office supplies, facility rental, catering, and even water from Trump Ice.
Politico calls it "an unprecedented amount of self-dealing in federal politics."
"Even the wealthiest of candidates have refrained from tapping their businesses’ resources to such an extensive degree, either because their businesses are structured in a manner that doesn’t legally allow them to do it with flexibility, or because they’re leery of the allegations of pocket-padding that inevitably arise when politicians use their campaigns or committees to pay their businesses or families."
Trump's bragging may reveal some insight into his thinking.
"Trump, who in 2000 predicted 'I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it,' declined to comment through a spokesman. But he has compounded the criticism lately, boasting this week that 'there’s nothing like doing things with other people’s money,' in response to a report that his charity used donations to cover business-related legal costs."
The Republican presidential candidate has not shied away from non-financial dealings for his companies, either.
Last week's "major announcement," that he accepts that President Barack Obama was born in America, was an infomercial for his brand-new Washington, D.C. hotel. And Trump used a primary election speech at his at Mar-a-Lago club "as an infomercial for Trump-branded steaks, water, magazines and wine."
What should taxpayers expect should Trump be elected president?
How big will our national bill to Trump family businesses grow?