President-elect Trump paid $12.5M to his own businesses during race

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CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 01: President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a stop at U.S. Bank Arena on December 1, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Trump took time off from selecting the cabinet for his incoming administration to celebrate his victory in the general election. (Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images)

NEW YORK — President-elect Donald Trump paid nearly $12.5 million to his own businesses and family members during his 18-month campaign for president, a CNN review of federal reports shows.

The biggest beneficiary was Tag Air Inc., a Trump-owned company that operates his airplanes and was paid $8.7 million. The next biggest payment — $2.2 million — went to Trump Payroll Corp. and Trump Tower Commercial LLC.

One campaign finance watchdog said no candidate had ever run so much of a campaign’s spending through his own businesses.

“I don’t think we’ve ever seen one like this,” said Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center.

The list of Mr. Trump businesses that were paid by the campaign is long.

Mr. Trump’s hotels and golf clubs received $1.4 million. Some $238,000 went to Mr. Trump restaurants and food services.

His son’s company, Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing, got $32,196.

All of the money came directly from President-elect Trump’s own campaign. And it’s all legal.

The campaign did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

“If he did it legally and it was in the ordinary course of business, you have to say that he’s allowed to do that,” Noble said. “If he was doing it to make a profit off of it, and he charged more than he was supposed to have charged, then there is a problem.” There is no evidence the Trump campaign did that.

The reports show big and small ticket items.

Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Palm Beach estate, got $423,371. Trump Ice, his bottled water company, got $2,085.

Then there are President-elect Trump’s restaurants in Trump Tower. The campaign paid Trump Grill $607. Trump Cafe got $94.

“The issue here, in part, was the scale at which it was done,” Noble said. “He had these businesses. He could do it at such a tremendous scale.”


  • legalisntillegal

    Let me summarize, it was completely legal and there was no wrong doing, got it. So why is this a story?

  • polymorph

    It was his money, he just took to much for his campaign and had to put some back. Will the bias media never stop.

  • liberty

    You never had a business, much less all the ones he was trying to run at the same time running for president! CNN comments when they do such a crappy job running their own business. Everybody hates CNN. One of the worse news sites ever. Number One False News Site.

  • liberty

    Isn’t it crazy that the Left told Trump to accept voter results and now they are going against the Constitution to steal it away! Only the lowest scum would do all the things they are doing in the name of a Dictatorship by the Left. Democratic Socialist Party feel they can do anything to keep control even acts of treason.

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