Donald Trump is a notorious cheapskate. He has a history of stiffing contractors and lawyers. The Trump Foundation basically subsisted on other people’s donations. While Trump exaggerates his net worth to the public, he consistently devalues his real estate holdings in disputes with cities across America in order to escape significant property tax bills. He has engaged in a sustained practice of grifting, where foreign and domestic private and public sector allies spend money at Trump properties.
Even when Trump promised to put $100 million into his 2016 Presidential campaign, he came up short. The final figure was $66 million. Just imagine how angry Trump would have been if he hadn’t won following his massive expenditure. After all, he once said, “If I don’t win, this will be the greatest waste of time, money and energy in my lifetime, by a factor of 100.”
Rumors abound about the Russians secretly lending Trump money to help fund his campaign, but that has not and may never be verified. However, if Trump wanted to find a way to reimburse himself, the money raised for his inauguration presented a tempting opportunity. The Inaugural Committee raised $108 million, which is twice as much as President Barack Obama spent in 2008. Most of that money didn’t end up getting used, and very little of the excess was donated to charity, so where did the rest of the money go?
The law does not require that disclosure. However, Tom Barrack, a long-time friend of Trump, headed up the Inaugural Committee. The Associated Press reports he has been interviewed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The sources in the article dispute what topics were covered, but one source contends, “The questioning was broader and did include financial matters about the campaign, the transition and Trump’s inauguration in January 2017.” The Mueller investigative tentacles also reach into the foreign donations to this committee. Clearly, the Special Counsel sees something amiss about what happened here.
Donald Trump has a lot of secrets he wants to stay hidden. Considering his penny-pinching tendencies and lack of morality, does anyone really believe that funds celebrating his corrupted ascension to the presidency didn’t wind up in personal coffers?
J.H. Norton is a communications professional, life-long Democrat, and married father of two boys living in Washington, D.C.