RNC has spent nearly $1.5 million at Trump properties this cycle

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Trump Doral (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Republican National Committee
(RNC) has ramped up its spending at properties owned by President Donald Trump this year, shelling out more than $1.1 million through September.

During the 2018 election cycle, the RNC has spent nearly $1.5 million at Trump-owned properties, including Trump’s hotels in New York and Washington, D.C. and his golf resorts in Florida.

Most of the money comes from a handful of large expenditures that correspond with RNC events, the biggest being a $367,365 payment to Trump National Doral Golf Club in June — related to the RNC’s 2018 Spring Meeting at the resort.

In March, the RNC spent more than $224,000 at Mar-a-Lago, where it hosted a Trump 2020 fundraiser. In September, the RNC made just one $59 payment to a Trump property, according to recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.

RNC officials say Trump properties are easy to work with and offer rates that fall in line with FEC requirements that committees pay for services at market-rate prices. Critics of the expenditures say the President has not fully divested his hotels and resorts — now run by his sons Donald Jr. and Eric — potentially creating a pay-for-play scenario.

The RNC wasn’t always a big supporter of Trump hotels and resorts. Prior to 2016, it’s only payment to a Trump-owned property was $39,123 to the Doral in 2011. The committee spent just $146,521 at Trump properties during the entire 2016 election cycle.

Being the massive political organization that it is, the RNC spends a lot of money. It has spent more than $243 million this cycle, meaning less than 1 percent of its spending goes to Trump properties.

Trump’s own campaign spends at Trump properties as well, paying more than $1 million to Trump-owned properties since 2017 — primarily for rent, lodging and meals. Trump’s campaign spent $627,371 at Trump Tower in that time.

Since 2007, Trump-related committees — including Donald J. Trump for President and Trump Victory — have spent more than $14 million at Trump-owned properties.

Republican politicians, too, have increasingly enjoyed the services of Trump properties. Nearly 100 GOP candidates and lawmakers have spent campaign or PAC funds at Trump properties since Trump’s 2016 win.

Conversely, Democratic candidates and groups are far less interested — spending zero dollars at Trump properties since Trump’s election. From 2007 to 2016, they spent a total of $44,777.

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