GOP-affiliated political groups and candidates have spent more than $8 million at the president’s various resorts and properties since President Trump was elected in 2016, according to a new analysis.
Politico on Monday reported that analysis from the left-leaning consumer rights group Public Citizen shows that the Trump Organization has become a haven for Republican groups hosting political events and fundraisers, an informal arrangement that directly financially benefits the president.
The amount reported by Politico represented a sharp increase in revenue from political sources for the Trump Organization, which received just under $70,000 in total from such groups in the two years leading up to his campaign announcement.
Since that announcement in June of 2015, the amount has ballooned to $15 million, with $8 million having been spent at Trump resorts and properties since Trump won the 2016 election. The highest level was in 2016, when nearly $12 million in total political spending occurred at Trump businesses that year.
Democrats and critics of the administration have long argued that the president’s financial arrangements, namely his decision to not sell his businesses before taking office, violate the constitution’s Emoluments Clause prohibiting gifts to members of the federal government.
“President Trump has perfected the financial shakedown of seeking political influence as a way of life,” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) of the House Oversight Committee told Politico. “This is now standard operating procedure in Washington. It’s pay-to-play all day.”
A White House spokesperson responded to Politico’s report with a statement saying that Trump has no involvement in the day-to-day operations of his old company.
“As he announced in January 2017, President Donald Trump is not involved in the day-to-day operations of the Trump Organization and he does not take any action that benefits him personally,” Judd Deere said. “While House Democrats continue to spread false rumors in complete denial that the President was a successful businessman for decades, President Trump continues to keep his promises to the American people.”