WASHINGTON – Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is hiding what it pays a top adviser who claims he speaks to the president daily and who is embroiled in a long-running dispute with a former lover over how much child support he can afford to pay.
Jason Miller, who joined the reelection team in late spring after having worked on Trump’s 2016 bid and who served as an informal adviser to him since 2017, has not once appeared in the 2020 campaign’s filings on its expenses with the Federal Election Commission. Also absent from the filings is Miller’s firm, SHW Partners LLC, for which he describes himself as a “principal.”
If Miller can be shown to have a higher income than he has detailed, a court could force him to pay more child support.
According to Florida court filings in the support dispute, Miller reported an income of $683,660 in 2019 ― but continued to argue that he could not afford to pay $3,167 per month in child support for the son he fathered during the 2016 Trump campaign with a female colleague. For a period of six months early this year, he paid only $500 a month in child support ― despite reporting monthly personal expenses that included $1,500 for food and “home supplies,” $750 for meals out, $473 for maid service and $1,517 in car payments.
A filing last month in the case reported he had a current monthly income of $32,606 from his company but nothing from the Trump campaign. He has, however, resumed paying the $3,167 monthly in child support.
Neither the Trump campaign nor Miller responded to numerous HuffPost queries regarding the hidden payments over a period of many weeks. If Miller is being paid by someone else while he works on the campaign, that would constitute an illegal in-kind contribution.
Miller’s former co-worker, A.J. Delgado, has been suing him for missed child support payments and attorney’s fees since 2017. Now a fierce Trump critic, Delgado said Tuesday that the president’s campaign is helping Miller “skirt obligations as much as possible, as his income is directly relevant not only to child support and child support arrears he owes our son, but even relevant to attorneys’ fees.”
Miller lives in Virginia with his wife and daughters. Delgado resides in Miami with her and Miller’s son. Miller had been slated to join the White House as Trump’s communications director following his 2016 election, but then withdrew after the news of his relationship with Delgado became public.
He went to work for the consulting company Teneo, but left that job in June 2019 after publicly calling Rep. Jerry Nadler “gross” and a “fat fuck” as the House Judiciary Committee chaired by the New York Democrat conducted a hearing into Trump’s White House.
However, according to documents filed in the child support case, Teneo immediately hired Miller back as an independent contractor through his SHW firm at an identical, $500,000 annual salary. Despite this, Miller claimed to the court he had suffered a “major financial setback that has caused a major disruption in his professional and personal life” and asked the court to lower his child support amount because of that.
“It is now clear that (Miller) had actually suffered no ‘major’ financial setback at all,” Delgado’s lawyer, Laline Conception-Veleso, wrote in an April 16, 2020 filing.
Teneo did not respond to HuffPost’s queries on the matter.
Starting in October 2019, Miller began working with former top White House aide and 2016 campaign colleague Stephen Bannon on a pro-Trump podcast and radio show. He received $20,000 a month from a Bannon-controlled non-profit, according to a recent Salon.com report.
Bannon and three associates were arrested last month and charged with fraud and money laundering for using money donated to build a wall along the Mexican border for personal uses instead. Prosecutors are seeking to seize assets from Bannon’s non-profit that was used to pay Miller, according to Salon.
The watchdog group Campaign Legal Center in July filed a complaint with the FEC that the Trump campaign was illegally funneling money through private firms to hide the recipients and amounts from the public, including $15,000 a month each to the wife of one of Trump’s sons and the girlfriend of another.
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