How Trump’s inaugural committee spent the record $107 million worth of donations to celebrate his election

Melania Donald trump inauguration outfitDrew Angerer/Getty

 

President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee raised the most of any previous administration: a whopping $107 million. For comparison, President Barack Obama’s inaugural committee raised $53 million. Nearly two years after Trump was sworn in, a new report from The New York Times details how some of that money was spent. That’s not the only scrutiny the committee is facing. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Brooklyn, are looking into whether there were any illegal foreign donations to the committee. Here were the most surprising expenditures from the Trump inauguration committee, according to The Times’ report.

President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee raised the most of any newly elected president: a whopping $107 million. For comparison, President Barack Obama’s inaugural committee raised $53 million.

Nearly two years after Trump was sworn in, a new report from The New York Times details how some of that money was spent. That’s not the only scrutiny the committee is facing. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Brooklyn, are looking into whether there were any illegal foreign donations to the committee.

The Times notes, however, that a presidential inaugural committee can “for the most part” spend the money raised on what it likes. Despite this, Trump’s spending surprised past planners for both Obama and former President George W. Bush. The newspaper describes the bulk of the spending as “mundane” — mostly going to hotels, vendors, and payroll, and $5 million to charity

Here are the most interesting expenditures from Trump’s inauguration:

President Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States on January 20, 2017. Jim Bourg/Reuters

While the swearing-in ceremony and the luncheon that followed were paid for by Congress, the other events — concerts, balls, etc. — were paid for by Trump’s presidential inaugural committee. Through interviews and documents obtained by The New York Times, reporters were able to get a sense of what the committee spent its money on for the inauguration.

Source: The New York Times

Trump’s committee was chaired by Thomas J. Barrack Jr. Stephen Shugerman / Stringer

In a statement to The Times, Barrack Jr. said, he continues “to be proud of the incredible work of all those that were part of the committee.”

He added that the committee “complied with all laws and regulations, and its finances were fully audited internally and independently. The donors were fully vetted and disclosed to the Federal Election Commission as required.”

Source: The New York Times

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, Jonathan Reynaga, and WIS Media Partners REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Winston Wolkoff was a friend of First Lady Melania Trump. She and Jonathan Reynaga formed WIS Media Partners, which was in charge of broadcasting rights for the inaugural events and was initially going to make a documentary about the inauguration (which was later scrapped).

Winston Wolkoff had a contract for $1.6 and WIS Media Partners was paid nearly $26 million (which it used to pay vendors).

“I have never heard anybody getting that kind of fee associated with any inaugural, ever,” Greg Jenkins, who oversaw Bush’s second inauguration said of Winston Wolkoff’s fee.

A spokesperson from WIS Media Partners told The Times its fees were “significantly below” the going rate for such events.

Expenses for WIS Media Partners employees totaled $227,511 for things like cabs, room service, etc.

Source: The New York Times

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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