Donald Trump's presidential campaign paid nearly half a million dollars in the last quarter to a small Colorado printing company called WizBang Solutions, whose director, Mike Ciletti, is the Republican operative who ran a super PAC supporting the real estate mogul last year.
The payments represent a nearly tenfold increase over what the campaign paid the firm earlier in the year, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
In an email, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said the expenditures were for "collateral materials." When asked why the payments to WizBang Solutions increased dramatically, he responded, "We are running for President of the United States."
Ciletti did not return multiple requests for comment.
Ciletti's super PAC, Make America Great Again, was shuttered after The Washington Post reported that it had multiple connections to Trump's campaign at the same time the candidate was maintaining that he had not sanctioned a super PAC to back his White House bid.
In fact, Trump appeared at two events for the group and his daughter's mother-in-law gave the super PAC money. In addition, Ciletti, the super PAC's lead consultant, is a longtime business associate of Lewandowski. The two men worked through the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, where Lewandowski served as a top official at the same time Ciletti’s WizBang Solutions was a major vendor to the organization.
The Trump campaign also paid two firms connected to Ciletti at the same time he was running Make America Great Again, The Post found last fall. One of them was WizBang Solutions, which received $56,000 from April through September to print t-shirts and bumper stickers.
In late October, Ciletti said he was shutting down the super PAC in the wake of The Post's reporting. "It's an issue that I have relationships with Mr. Trump's staff," he said at the time.
In the two months that followed, the Trump campaign dramatically increased its payments to Commerce City, Co.-based WizBang Solutions, paying the firm nearly $488,000 for printing and design services in the final quarter of 2015, campaign finance records show.
The company's president, Marty Soudani, did not respond to a request for comment made through his assistant.
As for the super PAC, it remains a mystery how much it raised or how it spent its money before shutting down. The group failed to file its year-end report to the FEC by Sunday's midnight deadline.