Almost $500K in campaign funds has gone to Trump-owned entities

Trump's $42.6 million haul with the national party and two joint fundraising committees is more than twice as much as the $15.8 million that then-President Barack Obama raised in conjunction with the Democratic National Committee during the first quarter of 2009, campaign finance reports filed Friday show.

They have also spent at least $2.7 million on data, telemarketing and other fundraising activities, much of which was sent to a web design and digital media firm run by the Trump campaign's digital director Brad Parscale. And Trump Victory, which includes the Trump campaign, the RNC and 11 state parties, received about $67,000 total during the same period.

More than six percent of the $6.3 million spent by the campaign went to the Trump properties, reports The Wall Street Journal, paying $274,013 for rent at Trump Tower; $58,685 for lodging at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida and another $13,828 for rent and catering going to the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas.

Over 250,000 contributors have given online to either Trump's campaign or to the RNC this year, GOP sources told the Post.

In the process, Trump's campaign and affiliated committees have continued to spend heavily on t-shirts, bumper stickers and other merchandise, shelling out almost $4.8 million for such items in the first three months of 2017, federal filings show.

Since entering the White House, Trump has drawn criticism from ethics experts who say he hasn't appropriately distanced himself from his companies.

More than $3 million in individual contributions to Trump's campaign fund were new donations between the January 1 and March 31 filing window. That suggests that Trump is relying heavily on the grass-roots donors who provided much of the cash - aside from his own fortune - he used for his campaign.

  • Leroy Wright