While former President Donald Trump's Save America PAC claims that its donors will be "the Patriots who SAVED AMERICA," it has been discovered that much of the PAC's money is being used for Trump's personal expenses, including payments to his wife Melania Trump's fashion designer.
The Save America PAC released its financial disclosures for August on Tuesday, and Washington Post reporter Isaac Stanley-Becker noted on Twitter that the PAC listed an $18,000 payment to Herve Pierre Braillard for "strategy consulting." A fashion designer for multiple previous first ladies, Braillard has styled Melania Trump for a number of years, and helped design the dress that she wore at the 2017 Inaugural Ball.
\u201cTrump's PAC, which raises money by promising donors they're defending the former president's legacy, is still paying Melania Trump's fashion designer, most recently $18,000 last month for "strategy consulting"\u201d— Isaac Stanley-Becker (@Isaac Stanley-Becker) 1663721312
While the disclosures did not say anything beyond "strategy consulting," this is not the first time that Braillard has received large payments from Trump's Save America PAC. USA Today recently reported that the fashion designer had also been the recipient of a $60,000 payment from the PAC earlier this year.
The use of the Save America PAC for personal expenditures has become controversial, given that the former president has claimed that the PAC was set up to save the United States from President Joe Biden, support GOP candidates, and uncover instances of alleged voter fraud. Additionally, as USA Today noted, the Federal Elections Commission “does not allow candidate committees, which are formed to raise money for a specific candidate, to spend money on personal items, including clothing.”
Braillard has previously addressed the $60,000 payment in an interview with WWD. He told the fashion magazine that the money was not related to fashion or any services rendered during Trump's time as president. Additionally, he said that while he still does style the former first lady, the "fashion" part of his consulting is minimal.
“As with every other first lady, there is an after the White House life, which involves many other aspects than fashion," Braillard said. "I am lucky to have worked in prestigious houses, to have designed for ballets and more recently to work in home decor. There are many upcoming projects in this after-the-White House.”
Melania Trump's office also released a statement at the time, similarly claiming that the payment was unrelated to fashion - but did not shed light on the specifics of what it was used for. “Mr. Pierre is a world-renowned artist. His work extends to many different fields, not just fashion design. His expertise is utilized for special projects and events," her office wrote.