The Trump campaign is trying to justify the fact that Donald Trump jacked up the rent for his presidential campaign’s space in Trump Tower, but one fact destroys the Republican nominee’s excuses.
The Trump campaign told NBC News that the rent just happened to increase after they started getting more donations because the campaign is expanding. The problem is that the Trump campaign is expanding, but apparently not adding any more people:
But Trump’s $170,000 expenditure on rent in July is still less than the amount Clinton paid in rent — $208,000.
The two campaigns also have vastly different footprints when it comes to staffing. The Trump campaign has fewer than 100 staff members on payroll, which includes both personnel in the field and those based in Trump Tower. The Clinton team, meanwhile, has more than 700 staffers on payroll – seven times more than Trump.
Trump increased the rent his campaign paid to his own building in proportion to the increase in donations that he was receiving. This isn’t rocket science. As more money came in, Trump charged his own campaign more rent to be housed in his own building. Thus, Donald Trump made money off of running for president.
The Trump campaign’s excuse that the campaign was expanding would be plausible if the campaign were hiring more people. It isn’t. Why would a presidential campaign that isn’t hiring more people need more space? The answer is that it wouldn’t. Donald Trump appears to be skimming off of the top of the campaign donations that he is receiving.
Something is really wrong when a campaign that has 600+ fewer staffers than it’s opponent is only paying $200,000 less in rent. The Trump campaign has to pay Trump something for rent, or else the use of the space will be viewed as a political contribution. However, if Donald Trump’s priority were on winning the White House, he would be spending his campaign’s donations on staff and organization, not finding new ways to line his own pockets.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association