The 2016 presidential race proved awfully fruitful for Donald Trump: In addition to shocking pollsters and pundits with his victory, he also managed to rake in a shit-load of cash for his own businesses. As Politico reports, the Trump campaign paid his companies nearly $13 million for everything ranging from office space to private jet service — including $219,000 on Trump restaurants.
According to just-released financial records from the Federal Election Commission, the campaign spending includes $78,000 that went to Trump Restaurants, LLC for meals and catering, and another $141,000 to the same company for “rent and utilities.” $608 was spent at Trump Cafe, the restaurant inside Manhattan’s Trump Tower that’s home to the infamous $19 taco bowl. Less popular with the campaign was Trump Cafe, where it spent just $95 in total; apparently staffers weren’t too keen on eating “Mr. Trump’s Mother’s Meatloaf” ($13.95) or $8 chicken salad sandwiches.
An additional $32,000 was paid to Eric Trump’s Virginia vineyard for “facilities rental and catering.” Trump also apparently has a company called Trump Ice, which billed the campaign $3,400 for beverages and “office supplies.”
As Politico points out, the data “[reveals] an integrated business and political operation that was without precedent in modern American presidential politics.” But since Trump refuses to release his tax returns, it will be impossible to say how much his businesses have actually benefited from his campaign’s spending.
Of course, none of this comes as a shock: Last year during the presidential race, a number of people, including Hillary Clinton, pointed out that the Trump campaign was spending big bucks at Trump businesses.
What is Trump spending his meager campaign resources on? Why, himself, of course. https://t.co/6LsNwf4gTL— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 21, 2016
Recipients of payments from Trump campaign with “Trump” in name, through May 31. Doesn’t include Mar-a-Lago/planes. pic.twitter.com/JF6skaWYGF— Derek Willis (@derekwillis) June 21, 2016
Eater’s data reporter Vince Dixon examined each campaign’s food spending habits in July, and found that the Trump campaign’s favorite place to eat was the taco bowl-slinging Trump Grill. In second place: McDonald’s, which Trump has professed his love for numerous times.