The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Republican National Committee spent big at Trump properties in February, filings show

Trump International Hotel in Washington. (AP)

The Republican National Committee spent roughly $271,000 at President Trump’s private businesses in February, according to documents filed Tuesday evening.

The majority of the RNC’s spending at Trump’s private properties last month paid for venue rental and catering at the Trump National Doral Miami resort in Florida and the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Of about $270,000 spent at both properties, most of the expenses — about $205,000 — were spent at Trump National Doral Miami, Federal Election Commission filings show.

The amounts spent at those two Trump properties comprised 86 percent of the RNC’s February expenses that were categorized specifically as “venue rental and catering.” In December 2017, the RNC spent $3,000 on venue and catering at the Doral property — the only other time it spent money there in the 2017-2018 fundraising cycle.

Since his election, Trump's private properties have attracted steady business from the RNC, party committees, congressional campaigns and outside groups, which spend anywhere from about $300 to over $160,000 per event, an analysis by The Washington Post shows. Dozens of Republican lawmakers and candidates have spent campaign or PAC money at the president's properties since his election, The Post found.

[These are the GOP officials who have spent the most at Trump properties]

The purpose of the RNC's February venue rental expenses at Trump properties was not immediately clear. The RNC did not provide a comment in response to an inquiry Tuesday evening.

The committee continues to dominate the fundraising pace among the party committees and major congressional super PACs, consistently attracting contributions of $200 or less, which comprised 56 percent of its fundraising haul in February.

The RNC raised $12.6 million in February, for a total of $147.7 million for the 2018 midterm cycle thus far, the filings show. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement that the RNC is investing in a permanent ground game and data operation in 25 states.

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