President Donald Trump's Inaugural Committee will donate $3 million to charities working on hurricane relief after facing criticism for the delay, The New York Times reports.
Presidential Inaugural Committee chairman Thomas J. Barrack Jr. announced that the money will be split evenly between the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and Samaritan's Purse, all of which are taking part in relief efforts for regions affected by the recent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, and in Florida.
"The surplus of these privately donated funds will be put to great substantive use for relief victims throughout the heartbreaking regions of America impacted by the recent catastrophic disasters," Barrack told the Times in an email.
"The committee will continue to curate worthwhile causes and make further contributions that serve America's agenda and will conclude in accordance with its charter in the next few months," he added.
Trump's inaugural committee raised a record $107 million, and promised to donate some of that to charity, but as The Associated Press reported in mid-September, they had not done so eight months after the inauguration. The AP also noted that some of the money raised was used to renovate the White House and Naval Observatory, where the vice president lives.
Using the leftover funds in this manner isn't unusual, but the amount Trump raised is. His predecessors Barack Obama and George W. Bush both capped individual and corporate donations, but Trump allowed unlimited individual contributions and limited corporate ones to $1 million. The committee ended up raising almost twice what Obama's inaugural committee brought in.
Some unnamed event industry insiders told the AP that the committee "blew out their budgets," and that Trump's inaugural concert cost $25 million, 10 times what Bush's cost, and over five times what Obama's cost.
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