RNC just got caught paying hush money to Trump’s former bodyguard

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The Republican National Committee just got caught using a slush fund to fork over big checks President Trump’s former bodyguard who has testified in the Congressional investigations into his Russian ties.

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Ex-NYPD detective Keith Schiller was Donald Trump’s longtime bodyguard for the Trump Organization, and his Republican campaign, ultimately landing a job as Director of Oval Office Operations for the President. Schiller worked the infamous Miss Universe Moscow pageant and testified to the House that he left the hotel door unguarded the night which the Steele Dossier claims Donald Trump held a “golden showers” party, purportedly caught on a blackmail tape.

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Now, Schiller’s unusual payments of $15,000 a month from the national Republican Party have surfaced, and watchdogs are calling foul. CNBC reports:

Within weeks of leaving his job as director of Oval Office operations, Schiller’s private security firm, KS Global Group, began collecting $15,000 a month for “security services” from the Republican National Committee. Since October, the RNC has paid Schiller’s firm a total of $75,000, according to its latest disclosure reports. The most recent payment was on Jan. 31.

According to an RNC official, Schiller is being paid for security consulting on the site selection process for the 2020 Republican National Convention. Schiller’s fee comes out of the RNC’s convention fund, not its campaign fund, the official noted.

Campaign finance watchdog groups, however, were quick to cry foul. “These sorts of party accounts are notorious for being operated as slush funds — lightly regulated and ripe for abuse,” said Stephen Spaulding, former special counsel at the Federal Election Commission and now chief of strategy at the nonpartisan advocacy group Common Cause.

At the time of his departure, Keith Schiller was chafing under Chief of Staff John Kelly’s new (incompetent) system to manage the Oval Office.

Schiller originally claimed that he was leaving the White House because he couldn’t continue taking a pay cut from nearly $300,000 per year to be Trump’s private security chief to the $165,000 annual salary at the White House.

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Yet, his new $180,000 annual salary for being a Trump Republican loyalist isn’t really a raise for the ex-cop, when you factor in the cost of benefits that government work pays, like healthcare.

So why did Keith Schiller really leave Trump’s side?

Keith Schiller was probably the one man closest to Donald Trump outside his own family and certainly spent more time with the President than anyone else prior to his departure. Just read the details of his last time being grilled by Congress:

After a business meeting before the Miss Universe Pageant in 2013, a Russian participant offered to “send five women” to Donald Trump’s hotel room in Moscow, his longtime bodyguard told Congress this week, according to three sources who were present for the interview.

The former Oval Office Director’s potential eyewitness testimony on wide-ranging matters from campaign collusion to the aforementioned ‘Pee Tape‘ is probably highly sought after by the many investigations into Donald Trump, including Special Counsel Mueller.

That’s why the tremendous payments to Schiller from a lightly regulated national Republican Party pool of dark money, paid to Schuller for what appears to be a make-work job, just to select a convention site 30 months from now, totally reeks of yet another Trump hush money payoff.

Grant Stern

Editor at Large

Grant Stern is a columnist for the Washington Press. He's also mortgage broker, writer, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida.

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