While it's been over a month since the presidential election, new information has been revealed about actions that President Donald Trump and his team reportedly took prior to election day. According to Forbes, Trump reportedly moved around $2.7 million of campaign-donor money into his own business before election day. Overall, the Trump campaign took in $785 million from January 2017 to November 2020.
Forbes reported that on the day of Trump's inauguration in 2017, he upended tradition by filing paperwork for his re-election. By doing so, he was able to continue raising money from his supporters while he served his term in office. The publication also noted that the president himself never donated to his re-election effort. (He funded his 2016 run for office with $66 million of his own funds). Instead of donating to his campaign, he reportedly took money out of the campaign by charging for things such as rent, food, lodging and legal expenses. Based on an analysis from the Federal Election Commission, Trump shifted $2.7 million, which he received in donations from his supporters, to his business throughout his time in office.
It's unclear why Trump reportedly underwent this action, as he is worth an estimated $2.5 billion. Most of the money that he received from the campaign went through Trump Tower. Around a month after he was inaugurated, the Trump campaign paid $159,000 to Trump Tower Commercial LLC, the entity by which the president maintained his 100% stake in Trump Tower. The building was the central location for the Trump campaign when he ran for president in 2016. While his team subsequently opened up a new headquarters in Washington D.C., the campaign still contributed about $40,000 per month on rent at the Trump Tower space through the 2020 election period. That amount totals around $1.6 million. Forbes reported that several other Trump entities, such as Trump Corp., Trump Plaza LLC, and Trump Restaurants LLC, all received various amounts of money from the campaign.
It should be noted that the Trump campaign previously insisted that these payments to the president's companies complied with the law. Forbes asked representatives for the Trump Organization to comment on this report, but they did not respond to the request. As for the outcome of the presidential election, the incumbent Trump lost to the Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden. While Trump and his team have continued to cast aspersions on the electoral process, Biden will become the 46th President of the United States when he is inaugurated in January.