Donald Trump jacked up the rent at the New York City building he named after himself after donors started paying the tab.
Trump raised the rent nearly five-fold for his campaign’s headquarters at Trump Tower in July, when he was hauling in money from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his White House bid, reported the Huffington Post.
The website analyzed filings with the Federal Election Commission and found rent payments had dramatically spiked at Trump Tower, which the candidate owns, although it’s not clear why.
Trump’s campaign staff shriveled from 197 paid employees and consultants in March to 172 in July.
But the candidate charged his presidential campaign $169,758 last month, after he locked up the GOP nomination, to rent office space at Trump Tower, compared with $35,458 in March — when Trump was paying those expenses himself.
“If I was a donor, I’d want answers,” said one prominent Republican National Committee member who supports Trump. “If they don’t have any more staff, and they’re paying five times more? That’s the kind of stuff I’d read and try to make an (attack) ad out of it.”
It’s not clear whether the smaller campaign staff is using more office space at the Manhattan building, and the Huffington Post reported the Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
The filings did not reveal how many of those paid staffers actually worked at Trump Tower, although only about a dozen of them worked there last autumn.
FEC filings also show that Trump has paid more than $260,000 to the golf courses and restaurants he owns — and named after himself — since reaching a joint fundraising agreement with the RNC in mid-May.
On the day that agreement was announced, Trump’s campaign paid more than $190,000 to two golf courses he owns in Florida and his Trump Restaurants LLC.
Such large payments were unusual when Trump was paying the bills himself, the website reported.