After learning from his former personal attorney that Donald Trump wasn’t expecting to win the presidency and saw his entire campaign as “the greatest infomercial in political history,” as Michael Cohen quoted him as saying repeatedly, we now have the latest campaign finance reports from Republican party candidates, PACs, and the RNC to discern exactly how much the president has personally profited from the now almost obligatory hosting of campaign and party activities at the president’s properties.
According to an article at Quartz, the total spending by Republican-related political entities at Trump-owned hotels, restaurants, and golf courses in the over two years that Trump has been in office has now reached around $4.7 million, including spending by Trump’s own re-election committee, as revealed in new Federal Elections Commission (FEC) filings.
That total comes on top of the more than $13.5 million that was spent during the campaign in the two years prior to Trump’s inauguration.
The newly updated total includes nearly $100,000 spent in the first quarter of this year at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC by the Republican National Committee, pro-Trump super PACs, and Republican political candidates. Essentially, this means that the president is personally pocketing a portion of every dollar donated to his — and other GOP candidates’ — campaigns.
Unlike most other U.S. presidents who have gone out of their way to avoid the appearance of any conflicts of interest stemming from their personal businesses, President Trump did not sell off any of his assets prior to assuming office nor did he set up a blind trust to operate his businesses. Instead, he left the Trump Organization in the hands of his children and swore that he wouldn’t discuss any of the details of the day to day conduct of business with them.
Expecting a compulsive liar like Trump to fulfill his promise was a fool’s errand and the conflicts of interest his businesses have raised have resulted in major lawsuits claiming that the president has violated the emoluments clause in the Constitution barring federal officeholders accepting gifts from foreign governments or their leaders.
While few people would claim the Trump presidency has been successful to date in terms of national accomplishments, at the very least the president can rest assured that at least it has been profitable, which it appears to be all that he ever cared about anyway.
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Original reporting by