President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Steven Bannon was arrested Thursday along with three others ― Brian Kolfage, Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea ― and charged with using money from a border wall fundraiser for personal expenses.
One of those expenses: a very expensive yacht!
Kolfage’s fundraiser, “We Built the Wall” — which Donald Trump Jr. praised in 2018 as “private enterprise at its finest” — promised to use 100% of donations to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Instead, Kolfage used some of the funds to buy a private yacht, among other things.
The indictment describes the yacht as a “2019 Jupiter Marine” boat named “Warfighter.” Photos and videos of a pleasure craft with the same name feature heavily on Kolfage’s Instagram account and surfaced on social media shortly after the group was arrested.
“Warfighter” appears to be a Jupiter 41 Sport Bridge that was presumably purchased new. In 2016, a well-appointed version of the same boat reviewed by Power and Motor Yacht Magazine had a list price of $815,000.
The vessel makes an appearance 19 seconds into this video from the July 4 pro-Trump “Boat Parade” Kolfage helped organize in Destin, Florida. It’s festooned with Trump-Pence flags:
It’s unclear whether Kolfage himself bought the boat, but that’s a moot point: Funds from donors were used to buy it regardless. And as Kolfage’s Instagram account illustrates, he made extensive use of it.
According to the indictment, Kolfage also used funds for home renovations, a luxury SUV, a golf car, jewelry, cosmetic surgery, personal tax payments and credit card debt. The other three individuals listed in the indictment used funds for travel, hotels, consumer goods and personal credit card debts.
While Bannon was on a yacht off the Connecticut coast when federal agents arrested him Thursday, he was not aboard “Warfighter” but a $28 million mega-yacht named “Lady May.”
Lady May belongs to the exiled Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui, whose recent financial transactions involving Bannon and a company called “GTV Media Group” have drawn scrutiny from federal and state authorities.