Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign paid more than $500,000 in August to companies the brash businessman owns, according to campaign finance reports released late Tuesday.
The chief beneficiaries were Trump’s aviation company and his office headquarters in Manhattan: TAG Air was paid nearly $320,000 for operating the campaign jet and Trump Tower collected nearly $170,000 in rent for the month of August. Another $23,000 went to smaller Trump properties and businesses.
The biggest single recipient of Trump’s campaign largesse last month was the digital marketing firm Giles-Parscale, which collected more than $11 million in fees from the Republican nominee. Brad Parscale, the company’s president, has no formal political experience, but he’s been a key member of Trump’s resort marketing team for nearly a decade.
Trump also increased the amount of money his campaign shells out for private security, by nearly 10 times. The expense went from $20,000 in July to more than $180,000 in August.
As the presidential nominee of a major party, Trump already receives Secret Service protection. The Secret Service typically refunds political campaigns part of the cost of flying around with the candidate.
In June, police in Las Vegas arrested a 20-year-old Englishman who tried to grab an officer’s gun, and who later said he intended to shoot Trump. A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to questions Wednesday about the former reality TV star’s beefed-up security costs.
Luckily for Trump, his record-setting campaign expenditures were offset by a strong wave of small donations which totaled more than $12 million, many of which were made online. The strong fundraising followed a month during which Trump had replaced his core campaign team and worked hard to look more like a disciplined, mainstream presidential candidate.
Still, hundreds of thousands of dollars flow each month from the bank accounts of small dollar Trump donors and into the bank account of the self-proclaimed billionaire and “King of Debt.”
The issue of how the presidential candidate spends the money donated to his Donald J. Trump Foundation has come to the fore this week, amid new allegations that he and his charity may have run afoul of basic tax laws.
The Washington Post revealed on Tuesday how Trump used money from his nonprofit foundation to settle a lawsuit against one of his private businesses. Rather than respond to the actual story, Trump and his campaign attacked the reporter.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump