Here’s one way for campaign donors to fund a lifestyle: Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again PAC’s staggering $ 37,561 monthly rent at Trump Tower in Manhattan includes office space for just three employees, the Washington Post reported on Friday.
“This may not be the most efficient use of donors’ money,” quipped the Post, which found that the 5,490-square-foot room on the 15th floor of Trump Tower can comfortably accommodate 30 workers. The three employees listed by the PAC there often work from home, according to Swiss Post. A security guard told a Post reporter on a weekday that no one was in the office.
HuffPost reported the massive rent payments last month and found that Trump’s campaign committee paid the same amount for the same office every four years he was in the White House, even though the campaign headquarters were in Virginia. MAGA’s Political Action Committee is essentially a reformulation of Trump’s campaign committee.
In Trump Tower, other key tenants either left the building or fell far behind with their high rents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For example, the company that once made shoes for former first daughter Ivanka Trump was $ 1.4 million behind, according to a lawsuit filed by the Trump Organization earlier this year. Marc Fisher Footwear used to occupy the entire 22nd floor and part of the 23rd floor of the formerly trendy high-rise Fifth Avenue, which was once Trump’s main residence and the setting for his reality series “Apprentice”.
A seedy “business school” that was once run by Kardashian mother Kris Jenner had amassed almost $ 200,000 in arrears as of October, according to another lawsuit from the Trump organization.
In March, MAGA PAC took over the offices in Trump Tower that once occupied the Trump campaign. For several months, she also paid the Trump Organization $ 3,000 a month to rent a retail kiosk in the building’s lobby – even though the lobby was closed – the Post reported, citing federal campaigns and sources.
Believe it or not, the selfish payments don’t seem illegal. The PAC has few restrictions with no expiration date, so Trump can spend his money “as long as he wants” on his own business, according to the Post.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t wrong, critics noted.
“He’s running a scam,” Paul Ryan, a campaign finance expert with the Common Cause watchdog group, told the Post. “Speaking of political expenditures – but actually collecting money for self-enrichment.”
Liz Harrington, a spokeswoman for Trump’s political operation, defended the rent.
“We’re paying the market price on rented office space that is helping President Trump build a financial juggernaut to aid in the election of America First Conservatives,” she told the Post.
Trump, the first President to hold on to his deals and shamelessly promoting them in the White House, has often dumped taxpayers, campaign and GOP money into his own pockets.
In just one case, he arranged a lavish trip to his golf resort in Turnberry, Scotland, for his family and entourage after meeting Queen Elizabeth in London in 2018. Also, former Vice President Mike Pence went out of his way to stay with Trump Golf Resort in Doonbeg, Ireland, during an official trip to Dublin in 2019.
Various PACS, supporters, and the Republican Party have spent millions of dollars at conferences and parties at Trump hotels, from Mar-a-Lago to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC’s own golf resorts.
When Trump considered running for the White House in an interview with Fortune magazine in 2000, he predicted that he would be “the first presidential candidate to run and make money.”
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