Donald Trump said Thursday he would prefer to use his own companies’ resources for campaigning without paying them.
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee responded to complaints by donors and others that his campaign has paid millions of dollars for event space at venues controlled by his own companies. Previous political candidates have carefully separated their business ventures from political efforts.
An Associated Press analysis of Federal Election Commission filings found that the Trump campaign spent about $6 million on various Trump products and services, as well as reimbursing family members for travel.
The filings show the campaign paid $4.6 million to TAG Air, the holding company of his airplanes. Other Trump-to-Trump expenses include $423,000 to Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club and vacation home in Florida, as well as tens of thousands of dollars to his other properties and smaller amounts to his bottled water brand and his son’s winery.
Democratic rival Hillary Clinton ribbed Trump on Tuesday, tweeting to followers: “What is Trump spending his meager campaign resources on? Why, himself, of course.”
There’s nothing illegal about what Trump is doing. Federal rules require companies— even ones owned by the candidate— to charge fair-market value so as not to run afoul of a ban on corporate campaign contributions.
Trump stressed that in an interview with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt.
“By law, I have to reimburse the aircraft and the plane and all the stuff, okay?” Trump said. “And I’m very meticulous about it.”
He added: “I would love to just use my places and not charge. It’s fine. It’s better for me. I would like it much better.”
Later in the interview he said it would be “stupid” to use someone else’s plane or event venues.
Trump’s comments to Hewitt came the same day he announced that he was wiping out the nearly $50 million in loans he made to his campaign account. Those loans had paid for the majority of his successful primary run. He is now seeking outside donations as he faces off with Clinton in a costly general election.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Stephen Russell says
Let Trump self finance & end this fiasco alone.
Get over it RNC.
Plus it ends campaign finance BS alone
Or amend the regs & make Uniform for ALL sides.
He followed the law. No story here.
Justin W says
If Donald Trump is paying for his campaign it isn’t any of our business if he wants to use his own property. Maybe people should be concerned about who all Hillary Clinton is selling access to.
If Iran were to nuke the United States, the liberal democrats would probably worry about harming the environment and surrender.
The liberal democrats are owned by Muslims must be stopped.
Esilda Rios says
Trump can do anything he wants with his money. If he pays family, so, they are campaigning for him. No news here. He will continue to use his money as he sees fit, as he is very frugal. We are thankful he watches his spending and Im sure he’ll do the same with our govt. money as he wins and becomes POTUS! Leave Trump alone! Go harrass the liars and corrupt people present in Washington. The ones destroying this country you, are allowing to get off scot free. Liberals are all dysfunctional and have deep pocket so they can get filled with whatever scam is going on today!! Trump all the way!