Donald Trump is already running for re-election, with a campaign fund set up and everything. And just as he did with his 2016 campaign, he’s using the campaign to funnel money into his wallet via his businesses, because why patronize anybody else, and pay them all those campaign donations, when you can just pay yourself with them?
Thus far, that amount totals $500,000. $274,000 alone has gone to Trump Tower. $58,000-plus has gone to the Trump International Golf Club in Florida, and nearly $14,000 has gone to Trump’s Las Vegas hotel. The rest has gone to various other properties.
Federal election law requires any candidate who uses their own business for campaign purposes to reimburse said business for the market value of the goods or services used. Generally, this winds up being a whole one to two percent of total campaign expenditures. As of June 2016, Trump’s expenditures at his own properties was more than $6 million, or 10 percent of his total campaign expenditures.
By the Nov. 8 election, that amount was over $14 million.
That part of election law actually forms a loophole that Trump has no problem taking advantage of to the fullest extent he can.
Obama stopped fundraising for awhile following his election in 2008. Trump never did. As soon as he was elected, he and the RNC began fundraising for 2020, and thus far, they’ve raised more than $42 million together. Trump’s refusal to divest himself from his businesses means some of that money could very easily be literally going into his wallet as we speak.
Given that this is probably the least transparent administration in a long time, there’s no way to trust that this is all Trump will funnel into his pockets. He’s a master at exploiting loopholes in the law. His supporters will probably chant, “There’s nothing illegal about this, so shut up,” but legal doesn’t mean right or ethical.
The fact that he’s already busy funneling campaign donations to his own pockets just adds to the growing stack of items illustrating just how unethical he really is.
Featured image by Alex Wong via Getty Images