New reports indicate that Donald Trump spent about $12.5 million of the funds used to finance his presidential campaigns on his companies. It has been estimated that the president-elect has set a new record regarding the amount of money that any other US presidential candidate has ever spent on their businesses.
The Trump Empire is composed of several businesses spanning various industries. During the campaigns, Donald Trump paid vast amounts of money to these companies in a practice that resulted in him pocketing the funds in the end.
One of the Trump-owned organisations that greatly benefited from the campaign financing windfall is Tag Air Inc. Reports indicate that Trump paid his organisation about $9 million over the course of his presidential campaign. Other Trump-owned companies that received a lot of money from his campaign funds include Trump Payroll Corp and Trump Tower Commercial LLC, according to reports.
But in what may raise many questions, it appears that Donald Trump continued receiving donations long after the campaigns were over. It has been reported that long after the elections were over, donors sent Trump about $3.5 million. Independent observers have corroborated this figure over the course of time. The donations were solicited from a long list of individuals that the Trump campaign team developed in the heat of the campaign period.
Observers have commented on the efficiency of the Trump campaign funding machine. An official of the Campaign Legal Centre, a campaign financing watchdog, says that the Trump campaign financing machinery was highly efficient in terms of collecting money from all manner of donors.
The financing plan roped in high value as well as low-value donations over the course of the time that it was running. It was based on this strategy that the campaign team managed to attract donations from donors even after Trump had won the elections. Donors were then rewarded with a wide range of Trump merchandise as an appreciation of their donations.
No Laws Broken
Given the nature of the expenditure and the amount of money that Trump spent on his businesses, it is highly unlikely that he contravened the law in any way. Larry Noble, an official of the Campaign Legal Centre, says that Donald Trump acted within the law by buying goods and services from his companies in the course of his campaigns. It has also been noted that his actions of dishing out businesses to companies controlled by his children and other family members did not contravene the law in any way.
It has also been observed that as long as Trump did not inflate figures, he cannot be said to have contravened the law by channelling campaign funds to his companies.
However, many people believe that the actions of the President-Elect went against common ethical and moral conventions. Of particular importance is the question of why Trump chose to do business with himself, using funds contributed by donors.
Second, many people are likely to question the morality of awarding multimillion businesses to companies that are owned and controlled by his children and other relatives.