Politico reports: Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has paid his family’s businesses more than $8.2 million, according to a POLITICO analysis of campaign finance filings, which reveals an integrated business and political operation without precedent in national politics.
The GOP presidential nominee’s campaign has paid his various businesses for services including rent for his campaign offices ($1.3 million), food and facilities for events and meetings ($544,000) and payroll for Trump corporate staffers ($333,000) who helped with everything from his traveling security to his wife’s convention speech.
In all, the Trump campaign’s payments to Trump-owned businesses account for about 7 percent of its $119 million spending total, the analysis found.
That’s an unprecedented amount of self-dealing in federal politics. Even the wealthiest of candidates have refrained from tapping their businesses’ resources to such an extensive degree, either because their businesses are structured in a manner that doesn’t legally allow them to do it with flexibility, or because they’re leery of the allegations of pocket-padding that inevitably arise when politicians use their campaigns or committees to pay their businesses or families.
Trump, on the other hand, appears to have structured his businesses in a way that lets the campaign use them without legal restriction. And he certainly doesn’t appear to feel any embarrassment about flouting political norms that typically compel candidates to distance themselves from their businesses during campaigns. [Continue reading…]