President Donald Trump’s inauguration in 2017 drew more than $100 million in donations, $1.5 million of which was spent on the Trump International Hotel, according to interviews and documents reviewed by The New York Times.
The record-breaking $107 million in contributions from private donors amounted to at least twice that of Trump’s predecessors, Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, The Times’ report said.
Expenses for the estimated 20 events around the Capitol reportedly included $10,000 spent on makeup services for 20 aides, and $30,000 to cover the daily expenses of contract staffers — who had already had their hotel rooms, room service, transportation costs, and laundry fees paid for.
Most of the expenses went to payroll and around 40 business that included hotels and vendors, according to The Times.
Around $5 million was also given to charity, according to organizers, who claimed it was the largest amount of presidential inaugural funds donated. INSIDER has not independently verified that claim.
Tom Barrack, a businessman and a friend of Trump’s, previously said any leftover funds would go to charity, and subsequent tax filings revealed some of those donations went to hurricane relief and housing renovations for Vice President Mike Pence.
About $6.4 million in potential hotel-room revenue was lost when a number of rooms booked by the Republican National Committee were left vacant after guests acquired housing accommodations elsewhere. The RNC incurred some financial penalties for that, The Times reported.
The majority of the committee’s funds reportedly came from large corporate entities and Republican donors, such as AT&T and Bank of America. Federal investigators are looking into whether the Trump inauguration committee received any funds from foreign entities, a matter that took on added significance amid concerns about the Trump election campaign’s contacts with Russian operatives.