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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ US https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ President Donald Trump's Initial Fund Excessively Used At His DC Hotel, New Document Show

President Donald Trump's Initial Fund Excessively Used At His DC Hotel, New Document Show

President Donald Trump's inaugural committee spent more than $ 1.5 million at the Trump International Hotel in Washington before breaking in 2017, according to internal documents reviewed by ABC News.

It's part of a series of expenses there and elsewhere that included more than $ 130,000 for custom two-gallon seat cushions for the elected president, $ 10,000 to provide makeup for the servers at another formal dinner and $ 2.7 million to a company that produced a Broadway-style rendition of Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" using Las Vegas show girls flown in by Trump's friend Steve Wynn to a private event.

Compared to previous initiations, the celebrations around Trump's swearing were modest ̵

1; the nonprofit group set up to monitor the celebration hosted only three major events. But the amount of money involved was record breaking – with more than $ 107 million. Exhausted and 104 million. USD spent, doubling the number of President Barack Obama's first inauguration.

"These initial committees, if there is no good transparency and revelation, can become difficult means," said Rep. John Sarbanes, a Maryland Democrat who has served in the House Oversight Committee. "Therefore, you must have requirements that describe what the cost is, where it comes from, put some restrictions on the kind of expenses that are appropriate so that it really goes against initial needs and not other purposes."

  PHOTO: Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th US President by Chief Justice John Roberts, whom Melania Trump looks at during the 58th US Presidential Capitol in Washington, 20 January 2017. Matt Rourke / AP Photo
Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th US President by Chief Justice John Roberts, whom Melania Trump looks at during the 58th Presidential Attendance at the US Capitol in Washington on January 20, 2017. [19659008] Representative of house monitoring committee Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., Who previously served on the committee, said he expects the Democrats to look at how the money was raised and spent. "It is the more reason why sunshine must be at both ends – who actually donates to the committees and how to make these expenses," Krishnamoorthi told ABC News.

Trump's initiation committee was led by the President's long-standing friend Thomas Barrack. He was not paid as part of his role in overseeing the first festivities. ABC News reached a Barrack spokesman.

There had already been questions about how the money was spent. Tax archives revealed the top five vendors included payments of nearly $ 26 million to an event planning firm run by a one-time advisor and close friend of Melania Trump.

The counselor, Stephanie Winston-Wolkoff, created a company called WIS Media Partners based in California that handled some of the celebrations. The company paid out contracts to other subcontractors who were hired and used some of the means to hire subcontractors. Winston-Wolkoff was also paid $ 1.62 million directly to work, ABC News has previously reported. ABC News has left messages to Winston-Wolkoff's lawyer.

Internal financial documents reviewed by ABC News on Monday show expenses that were not necessary to be included in public tax records. These record in granular details how money in some cases was aimed at paying Trump's political advisors. It included nearly $ 2.7 million for the Trump & # 39; s 2020 campaign leader, Brad Parscale, who handled digital operations to the first. A separate company, Fortalice Solutions LLC, which specializes in cyber protection, was paid $ 450,000.

Initial committees awarded $ 130,000 to Tiffany & Company, as a source confirmed to give guests salad bowls.

The documents also show significant amounts spent on traveling and feeding dozens of friends and assistants in the days leading up to the dedication. According to the archives, the committee paid, for example, $ 25,000 to refund hotel expenses for Longtime Trump Pal, property manager Howard Lorber. A breakdown of Melania Trump's friend shows Winston-Wolkoff's corporate spending thousands of dollars spent on dining, lodging and travel, including $ 24 in Uber rides to "pick up exec meds" and $ 13 to "drop off Jon's laundry" , a reference to a Winston-Wolkoff aide. Her company's expenses also included a $ 12.72 uber refund for a trip commissioned by Hollywood producer Mark Burnett, the creator of "The Apprentice", the show that launched Trump for reality television star.

ABC News has reached Lorber and Burnett for comment.

  PHOTO: President-elect Donald Trump arrives on the west front of US Capitol, Jan. 20, 2017, in Washington, for his dedication. Win McNamee / Pool Image via AP Image
The President-elect Donald Trump arrives on the west front of the US Capitol, January 20, 2017, in Washington, for his initiation.

Many of Winston-Wolkoff's employees were at the Trump International Hotel, which was used as a leading venue during the celebrations. But the expenses had not been detailed before. Among these expenses were numerous payments for food and beverages. For example, a couple working for Winston-Wolkoff billed the dedication $ 1,835 in room fees over three days.

There are few hard and fast rules for how initial funds can be used. The committee that travels and uses it is a tax-exempt group that must comply with the IRS rules, according to Brett Kappel, a campaign credit attorney in Washington. Where Trump's initial expenses could raise red flags, he said, the fund was driven to private individuals' privilege.

"Important expenses at the opening committee at Trump Hotel would raise issues of unacceptable committee action," Kappel said.

Kappel said the IRS would like to know, for example, if the introductory committee paid fair market value for the goods and services it purchased from the hotel. The committee spent more than $ 1 million each on two other hotels, the Willard Hotel and the Fairmont Hotel, the records show.

Generally, expenses at the Trump International Hotel in Washington have already been a focus of ethics and democrats in Congress. Even without the new figures showing the Trump Inaugural spending, other records have shown various Republican affiliated campaigns and groups as well as US and foreign governments spent nearly $ 2 million on the hotel since Trump joined.

It has included more than $ 509,000 from the Republican National Committee, more than $ 137,000 from Trump's campaign and joint fundraising committee, according to FEC archives.

House Democrats introduced a bill last year that would require the administration to publish every time Trump or other federal officials use taxpayers' money on Trump-owned hotels and golf courses.

"The great honor and responsibility of serving as President of the United States should never be exploited for good, and this president, as a president of him, has done nothing to make money from the federal government," Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Who was a sponsor, said at the time.

The initial group distribution of funds has seen less control, partly because so little was publicly known about where the money went. When the initial organization filed its tax papers, focused on Winston-Wolkoff, who served as a member of the first lady staff.

"Mrs. Trump had no involvement with the PIC and had no knowledge of how funds were spent, "said the first lady's spokesman Stephanie Grisham to ABC News in a statement at that time.

Previously published archives showed that other top vendors included a billing venture with the purpose of creating all the tickets and invitations to the festivities that were just shy of $ 4 million and another nearly $ 4 million payment to David Monn an event planner based in New York. A source of direct knowledge said that Monn was recommended to the Winston-Wolkoff selection, but was paid directly, not as part of her much larger payment.

The tax application showed that the committee spent 104 million. USD of the $ 107 million it raised. By comparison, for the 2009 inauguration, President-elect Barack Obama's team raised about $ 53.2 million and reported spending about $ 51 million.

Trump Inauguration also donated $ 5 million to various charities including American Red Cross, Salvation Army and the Smithsonian Institute among others.

ABC News reporter Soorin Kim contributed to this report.

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