A CNN review of federal reports shows Donald Trump paid almost $12.5 million out to his own businesses and family during his campaign for the presidency, but according to a legal expert, the expenditures, while unprecedented, are allowed and legal.
Trump-owned company Tag Air Inc. netted $8.5 million for operating his airplanes, with the next largest payment, of $2.2 million, going to Trump Payroll Corp.. Trump Tower Commercial LLC also received $2.2 million, reports CNN Money.
"I don't think we've ever seen one like this," Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center, a finance watchdog group, told CNN. "If he did it legally and it was in the ordinary course of business, you have to say that he's allowed to do that. If he was doing it to make a profit off of it, and he charged more than he was supposed to have charged, then there is a problem."
But the issue, said Noble, is that Trump has several businesses and could make the payments "at such a tremendous scale."
Several of Trump's other businesses received money from the campaign, including his hotels and golf clubs, which were paid $1.4 million, Mar-a-Lago, Trump's Palm Beach estate, was paid $423,371 and his restaurants and food services, received $238,000. Meanwhile Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing was paid $32,196.
There were several other smaller amounts paid out, including to his Trump Tower restaurants, with Trump Grill receiving $607 and Trump Cafe being paid $94.
Trump, however, spent much more of his own money to seek the nomination. Initially, he'd predicted he would spend $100 million on his campaign, but he ended up spending $66.1 million of his personal fortune, according to recent campaign filings.
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