Republicans have spent $3.5 million at Trump properties since he took office: report

Republicans have spent $3.5 million at Trump properties since he took office: report
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Republicans have spent more than $3.5 million at President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: WHCA picking non-comedian for headliner a 'good first step' Five takeaways from Mississippi's Senate debate Watergate’s John Dean: Nixon would tell Trump 'he's going too far' MORE’s properties since he was sworn into office in January 2017, according to a new analysis released by McClatchy on Monday.

The news outlet found that at least 125 Republican candidates and conservative groups have been spending money at Trump-brand resorts, hotels and restaurants across the country, according to data provided to the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

Democrats have not spent any money, McClatchy noted. 

Top Trump supporters like House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyNancy Pelosi should be Speaker of the House Trump heads to California to meet first responders amid deadly wildfires Hillicon Valley: Russian-linked hackers may have impersonated US officials | Trump signs DHS cyber bill | Prosecutors inadvertently reveal charges against Assange | Accenture workers protest border enforcement work | App mines crypto for bail bonds MORE (R-Calif.), Rep. Roger WilliamsJohn (Roger) Roger WilliamsHouse Republicans set to elect similar team of leaders despite midterm thumping Veterans can help meet the physician shortage in the VA health system, but this policy is a barrier Dems gain momentum 50 days before midterms MORE (R-Texas) and Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark MeadowsMark Randall MeadowsHouse GOP to hold hearing into DOJ’s probe of Clinton Foundation Top House conservative defends Ivanka Trump: This 'isn't even close' to Clinton email scandal Pence aide defends Meadows after ethics panel reprimand: He ‘had my back’ MORE (R-N.C) were among those who spent money at Trump businesses, McClatchy found.

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Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulCorker mocks White House as 'public relations firm' for Saudi crown prince Graham warns Trump not to look the other way on Saudi Arabia Rand Paul pans Trump’s statement on Khashoggi killing, calls it 'Saudi Arabia First' MORE (R-Ky.), who has at times disagreed with the president but is believed to be on friendly terms, has also dined at Trump-branded locations.

The outlet found that Paul’s campaign and leadership PAC have previously spent $400 at Trump’s National Golf Course near D.C. and dropped $2,000 at BLT Prime Steakhouse inside Trump’s D.C. hotel.

“We host small donor events there, and also hold them at plenty of other restaurants in D.C.,” Paul spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper told the outlet.  “Donors love that location, and when you’re raising money it makes sense to hold events where the donors like to be.” 

The $3.5 million spent since Trump’s inauguration is a big increase from the $35,000 political candidates and groups spent at Trump businesses during the two-year 2014 election cycle, FEC records indicate, according to McClatchy.

One of the biggest spenders since January 2017 was America First Action, a super PAC dedicated to supporting pro-Trump candidates.

The outlet found that the group spend more than $225,000 — primarily at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel — on rental fees, meals and lodging.

“The simple fact is that our supporters and friends are excited when we do so,” spokeswoman Erin Montgomery told McClatchy. “It’s a unique experience for them, they are excellent locations, and the staff are wonderful to work with.”

Other big spenders include the Republican National Committee (RNC), the Republican Governors Association and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The RNC has spent nearly $2 million at Trump properties, roughly half of which was spent hosting the GOP spring meeting at the Trump National Doral resort in Miami.

McClatchy noted that the RNC paid $375,000 to Trump's D.C. hotel and nearly $350,000 at Mar-a-Lago.

Trump’s campaign has spent more than $800,000 at Trump properties, the outlet also found.

The president himself has visited one of his own properties on 175 days since he took office, according to data released by the White House compiled by McClatchy.

Trump typically spends his weekends at Mar-a-Lago in the winter and Bedminster, N.J., in the summer. He returns Monday from a 10-day vacation at the New Jersey golf resort, the outlet noted.

The Trump Organization encompasses about 500 different Trump businesses. 

Trump owns the company but he turned over operational duties to his two adult sons, Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpTrump Jr.'s India trip cost taxpayers nearly 0K: report Robert De Niro says goodbye to ‘Jeff Sessions’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’ Eric Trump: Obama has 'personal problem' with my father MORE and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDivisions in GOP may leave Trump priority in Senate limbo Trump Jr.'s India trip cost taxpayers nearly 0K: report Social media explodes over Avenatti arrest MORE

The president has drawn scrutiny for failing to fully divest from his business interests after taking office. 

Trump is facing a lawsuit, filed by the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, claiming that the president is violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits elected officials from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments without congressional approval.

The lawsuit focuses on the profit Trump makes from foreign officials staying in his Washington, D.C., hotel.