Corruption

Trump's campaign channeled nearly $400,000 to his private business

Documents showed that the campaign channeled $380,000 to the president's personal business in 43 transactions, Fahrenthold said, adding that the Trump Organization told him the money was for a weeklong "donor retreat" at Mar-a-Lago in March

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US PRESS GROUP

President Donald Trump's campaign sent nearly $400,000 to his private business in just two days, The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold reported.

Documents showed that the campaign channeled $380,000 to the president's personal business in 43 transactions, Fahrenthold said, adding that the Trump Organization told him the money was for a weeklong "donor retreat" at Mar-a-Lago in March.

Open Secrets, an arm of the Center for Responsive Politics that closely tracks money in politics, first spotted the payments in Federal Election Commission filings from the Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee between Trump and the Republican National Committee.

This isn't the first time the president's personal and business interests have become entangled with his political office.

In February, The Post reported that the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service exorbitant rates to protect the president when he travels to his properties.

Citing federal records and people who had seen the receipts, The Post reported that the Trump Organization billed US taxpayers up to $650 per night at the Mar-a-Lago resort dozens of times in 2017 and $396.15 on dozens of occasions in 2018.

The Trump Organization also billed the Secret Service $17,000 a month in 2017 for agents to stay in a three-bedroom cottage at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, to protect the president when he traveled there, The Post reported.

The report said the Secret Service was billed for the cottage even on days when Trump wasn't at the golf club.

Receipts and documents showed that US taxpayers shelled out more than $471,000 to; Trump's properties from January 2017 to April 2018, The Post said.

Trump also frequently hosts foreign leaders at Mar-a-Lago, where they pay the market rate. After Trump became president, several countries with embassies in Washington, DC, began hosting parties and events at Trump properties in what ethics experts described as a bid to curry favor with the president.

The Post reported in December 2018 that shortly after the election, Saudi-funded lobbyists spent more than $270,000 to rent rooms for about 500 nights at the Trump International Hotel in Washington.

The RNC has spent more than $2 million at Trump Organization hotels and resorts. And Trump's campaign, which is funded in part by donations from the president's supporters and big-dollar donors, has spent more than $14 million at his properties.

In September, Trump faced harsh backlash when Politico reported that members of the US Air Force had stayed at Trump's five-star Turnberry resort in Scotland as part of an unusual layover on a routine trip from the US to Kuwait to deliver supplies.

That and other incidents "raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump's Turnberry resort afloat," the report said.

Last summer, the president also sparked a firestorm when he announced that the 2020 G7 conference, which the US is set to host, would take place at the Trump National Doral golf club in Miami, Florida.

"Doral Miami, so it's a great area. We haven't found anything that could even come close to competing it," Trump said at the time. He backed off after a public backlash and allegations that he was using the conference to line his own pockets.

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