RNC spending at Trump properties in 2018 surpasses $400,000

RNC spending at Trump properties in 2018 surpasses $400,000
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The Republican National Committee's (RNC) spending at Trump-branded properties in 2018 surpassed $400,000 through the end of February, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

As of Feb. 28, the RNC spent more than $424,000 at properties owned by President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE's private businesses.

That includes $271,000 on catering and venue rentals at the president's properties in Florida and Washington, D.C.

The Washington Post reported that figure on Tuesday.

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The party has also paid $37,000 per month since September to rent office space for the Trump campaign in Trump Tower in New York. Those payments have so far totally $222,000.

The latest figure was first reported Friday by CNN

An RNC official told the news network that Trump properties are often cheaper to rent out than other venues, and also cited security and convenience among the reasons for choosing them.

The $271,000 spent in February amounted to 86 percent of the RNC's total spending on venues and catering for the month, according to CNN. And since the beginning of 2017, 14 percent of the party's spending on such costs has gone to Trump properties.

When he took office last year, Trump declined to liquidate his assets or place them in a blind trust. Instead, he moved to hand over day-to-day operations of his company, the Trump Organization, to his two elder sons, Donald Jr. and Eric.

But the arrangement has drawn scrutiny from ethics experts, who have raised questions about conflicts of interest and whether the president could profit from his decisions in the Oval Office.