So far in this election cycle, the campaign of Republican nominee-to-be Donald J. Trump has spent $47 million. And among the biggest vendors to the campaign happens to be one Donald J. Trump.
Companies that Trump owns or controls have charged the campaign for an array of expenses. The biggest line item is air travel — a Trump company called Tag Air, which operates Trump’s aged 757, collected $3.7 million as of the end of March. But the campaign makes its headquarters at Trump Tower ($35,457 a month), and takes meetings downstairs at the Trump Grill. (“The best taco bowls are made in Trump Tower Grill,” Trump boasted last Thursday to mark the Mexican holiday Cinco de Mayo. “I love Hispanics!”) It pays salaries for Trump company employees, puts them up in Trump-owned hotels, and occasionally rents Trump ballrooms for campaign events.
All told, the campaign has paid Trump entities $4.3 million through March 31, according to Federal Election Commission records. That amounts to nearly ten percent of the campaign’s total expenditures, and taken together are second only to Rick Reed Media, a G.O.P. advertising consultant.