Donald Trump's campaign isn't alone in patronizing his own businesses: taxpayers are indirectly doing so, too.
Federal Election Commission records show that the U.S. Secret Service has paid the Trump campaign about $1.6 million to cover the cost of flying its agents with the candidate on a plane owned and operated by one of his companies.
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It’s standard practice for the agency — which is tasked with protecting presidential candidates as well as presidents and other federal officials — to reimburse presidential campaigns for the cost of traveling with the candidates.
In fact, the Secret Service has reimbursed the Clinton campaign, too: $2.6 million so far this cycle.
The difference with Trump is that one of his companies, TAG Air, Inc., owns the plane, so the government is effectively paying him.
The Clinton campaign, by contrast, mostly has been chartering planes from a private company called Executive Fliteways in which the Clintons do not have any ownership interest.
“The taxpayers are actually reimbursing Trump for the travel of the Secret Service agents," said Brett Kappel, a campaign finance lawyer at the law firm Akerman LLP. "It's just another example of how the Trump campaign has taken an unprecedentedly large amount of its money and spent it at Trump-owned facilities."
A POLITICO analysis of FEC records found that, through the end of August, Trump’s campaign has spent at least $8.2 million at Trump's own businesses, including to hold events at his hotels, buy food from his restaurants and rent office space for its headquarters in his Manhattan office tower.
But the biggest chunk of the expenses, almost $6 million, were to TAG Air, Inc.
Trump, who once said “I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it,” has attracted criticism for mixing business and politics to an unprecedented degree. He has made a point of highlighting his properties on the campaign trail, leading opponents to accuse him of using his presidential bid to promote his brand and line his pockets.
So, either admit that you are not self-funding or that you are looking to profit off of the campaign.
Crook, Liar Trump, is always good at swindling money.