Analysis of Federal Election Commission filings suggests that political action committees linked to candidates, organizations or the Republican Party spent nearly $1.5 million at Trump properties since Jan. 1, 2017, with spending recorded on 131 of the 424 days between then and Feb. 28, 2018.
The most spending in one day was recorded on Feb. 14 of this year, when the Republican National Committee spent more than $182,000 on events in Washington and in Florida.
It’s important to note that the dates on which the expenditure was recorded in FEC filings do not necessarily correlate to the dates of events at Trump properties. The Washington Post looked at RNC spending last month and was unable to determine what prompted this spending.
Most of the big-ticket spending was done by the RNC and the Trump campaign itself. The campaign has spent a great deal of money on rent at Trump Tower since the beginning of last year.
The Trump campaign has spent just shy of $689,000 at Trump properties since that date. The RNC has spent more than $573,000.
But spending at Trump properties is also common among congressional candidate and leadership committees. On 55 days since Jan. 1, 2017, such committees have paid money to Trump properties — a total of more than $133,000.
The most common place to spend money is just down the street from the White House, at Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue. On nearly 100 days since the beginning of last year, a political committee has paid a bill at the hotel or its restaurant.
How much of this money makes its way back to President Trump isn’t clear, but some does. The Trump Organization is being managed by his sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr., but Trump himself can draw income from the company whenever he wants to.
The numbers above also exclude other sources of income related to Trump’s new position. Last week, CNN reported that the Defense Department had spent almost $140,000 at Trump properties. The Secret Service had spent at least $63,000 at Mar-a-Lago alone as of October, a function of Trump’s frequent travel to the Florida property. (See chart below.)
Earlier this month, the Trump Organization reported that it had donated $151,470 in profits earned from foreign government business to the Treasury Department last year. The contributions are an attempt to avoid questions about violations of a clause in the Constitution prohibiting Trump from receiving payments from foreign actors. Our David Fahrenthold noted this month that the effect of Trump’s presidency on his businesses has been mixed. Some have seen increases in business; some, declines.
It is safe to say, though, that the amount of income to Trump properties from the RNC and the Trump campaign itself is much higher than it would be had Trump not won the election.