It turns out President-elect Donald Trump found more ways to profit off running for president president than was initially thought to be possible.
A campaign law watchdog found that Trump’s various enterprises made over $12.5 million off the billionaire’s run for office. Larry Noble, a lawyer at the Campaign Legal Center, told CNN that Trump’s campaign yield is unprecedented.
“I don’t think we’ve ever seen one like this,” Noble said.
The eight digit profit margin includes about $1.6 million Trump made by flying the Secret Service around on his private Boeing 757 jet. Typically campaigns charter jets and the service is on the hook to provide transit for its agents. Trump turned that tradition on its heels, using his own aviation company to provide campaign transportation, and charging the federal government airfare for his required security entourage. Trump’s aviation company, Tag Air, collected about $8.7 million during the 18-month campaign, according to CNN.
Trump Tower and Trump Payroll netted about $2.2 million in the process, although its not yet clear what those payments were for. The candidate, and soon-to-be president, also managed to divert about $1.6 million to his hotels, resorts, golf courses and restaurants during campaign events.
Even his son Eric’s wine company got in on the deal with a $38,000 campaign kickback, CNN reports.
With Trump already shadily mixing state business and personal business, and daughter Ivanka sitting in on a meeting with the prime minister of Japan (Ivanka’s clothing line does business with the Japanese government), there’s little doubt that Trump will continue to use his creative energy in an ongoing attempt to monetize his connection to the White House.
Maybe Trump should instead revisit that cancelled press conference, originally scheduled to dispel concerns about conflict of interest.