Former President Donald Trump shifted millions of dollars in funds from his 2020 reelection campaign to the Trump Organization following his landslide loss to President Joe Biden, Forbes reported on Friday.
The campaign “moved an estimated $2.8 million of donor money into the Trump Organization – including at least $81,000 since Trump lost the election,” reported Dan Alexander, a senior editor at Forbes and an expert in deciphering Trump’s sketchy finances.
“In addition,” Alexander continued, “one of the campaign’s joint-fundraising committees, which collects money in partnership with the Republican Party, shifted about $4.3 million of donor money into Trump’s business from January 20, 2017, to December 31, 2020 – at least $331,000 of which came after the election.”
Alexander noted that all of the transactions were reported to the Federal Election Commission. But with Trump’s political future imperiled by a looming second impeachment trial, the optics of siphoning political donations to fill his corporate coffers are poor, to say the least.
Two days after the election, on November 5, the joint-fundraising committee paid $11,000 to Trump’s hotel empire. A week later – after the Associated Press, Fox News and other major media outlets had already called the race for Joe Biden – the same committee put another $294,000 into Trump’s hotel business to rent space, order catering and pay for lodging. The campaign pitched in additional change – $110 that had been earmarked for recount efforts on November 16, another $220 the following day and $189 more the day after that.
On November 19, the campaign paid $31,000 for air travel to a company named DT Endeavor LLC. Five days later, the joint-fundraising committee paid the same entity $39,000. Forbes did not include those payments in its overall total of money moving into Trump’s empire, since it’s not 100% clear that the former president owns DT Endeavor LLC. There are strong indications that he does, though. The federal filings list the address for the DT Endeavor LLC as Trump Tower in one spot and Mar-a-Lago in another. Trump also owns an aviation company with an almost identical name, DT Endeavor I LLC.
Whether or not Trump owns DT Endeavor LLC, he certainly controls several other companies collecting money from the campaign. On November 20, one of Trump’s joint-fundraising committees paid $20,000 to his hotel outfit.
And then, in late November, “the campaign paid $3,000 in rent to Trump Restaurants LLC, which the former president owns outright. That company appears to be connected to a souvenir stand in the basement of Trump Tower,” Alexander wrote. “Less than a week after that, the campaign paid $3,000 in rent to Trump Restaurants LLC, which the former president owns outright. That company appears to be connected to a souvenir stand in the basement of Trump Tower.”
On December 1st, Trump’s campaign forked over another $38,000 to Trump Tower International LLC, the entity through which the ex-president owns his share of his overvalued, outdated flagship New York City skyscraper, 725 Fifth Avenue.
“Two weeks later, the campaign sent another $3,000 to Trump Restaurants LLC and added $38,000 more for Trump Tower Commercial LLC,” Alexander wrote. Thus, “the postelection payments from the campaign and its joint-fundraising committee add up to $413,000 – or $484,000 if you include the money that flowed into DT Endeavor LLC.”
Fun fact: Trump Tower is 58 stories tall, but Trump marketed it as 68 stories to boost sales. The 6th through 13th floors also do not exist.
Back in October, Forbes calculated that Trump had amassed more than a billion dollars in loans that he had personally guaranteed. The immense debts attached to 14 properties total $1.16 billion, for many of which Trump will receive hefty bills before the end of this decade.
Alexander estimates Trump’s net worth to be roughly $2.5 billion, given the value of his assets ($3.66 billion) minus his liabilities ($1.16 billion).
What's Your Reaction?
Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.