Trump taking to the political stage has generated money for his company that was not seen even when the president still bore a celebrity name. According to the report, in the 12 years before Trump announced his candidacy, campaigns only spent $468,382 at Trump properties.
The tenfold increase in profits worries ethical watchdog groups.
“The behavior itself is corrupting, and it’s creating corruption and the appearance of corruption,” Meredith McGehee, the executive director of watchdog group Issue One, told The Hill.
Robert Maguire, research director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), said he was concerned Trump and GOP candidates are ignoring conflicts of interest.
“What this spending shows is that far from being a check on these conflicts of interest, his political allies embraced it and fueled it,” he said. “He’s actively trying to profit off of the presidency.”
Most of the money has come in from larger campaign organizations. The Republican National Committee alone has spent over $1.1 million at Trump properties since he took office. Two of the biggest individual candidates and lawmaker spenders include the vice president‘s brother, Rep. Greg Pence (R-Ind.), and former Rep. Bill Schuster (R-Pa.).
The most popular Trump venue is Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., followed by Trump Tower in Manhattan.
While Republicans are looking to book events at the president’s properties, the rest of the world is shying away. According to a report from Bloomberg earlier this month, Trump Tower has become one of New York City’s least desirable luxury buildings, reporting that condos sold at up to 20 percent lost profits and a declining occupancy rate.