Former reality show star Donald Trump used his campaign funds to buy thousands of copies of his own book at retail cost — and that may be illegal, according to campaign finance experts. While boosting book sales, Donald is also funneling money back into his greedy little pockets.
The Daily Beast reports:
On May 10, the Trump campaign paid Barnes & Noble $55,055, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission. That amounts to more than 3,500 copies of the hardcover version of Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, or just over 5,000 copies of the renamed paperback release, Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America.
According to what a spokesperson for the Republican nominee told the website, the books were purchased “as part of gifting at the convention, which we have to do.” We think the spokesperson misspelled grifting.
Delegates did receive the books along with Kleenex and Make America Great Again! cups, hats, and T-shirts. In addition, delegates were also given plastic fetus figurines.
A spokesperson for Hillary Clinton’s campaign was asked if they had ever purchased her book in bulk, and said, “We think we’ve probably purchased a copy or two just to have in the office, but the campaign has never purchased her book in bulk or anything close to that.”
Paul Ryan (not that one), of the nonpartisan nonprofit Campaign Legal Center, said that Trump would have to forgo accepting royalties for sales on the book in order for the transaction to be legal, under Federal Election Committee rules.
“It’s fine for a candidate’s book to be purchased by his committee, but it’s impermissible to receive royalties from the publisher,” Ryan told The Daily Beast. “That amounts to an illegal conversion of campaign funds to personal use. There’s a well established precedent from the FEC that funds from the campaign account can’t end up in your own pocket.”
The Trump campaign has refused to comment on this, and his publisher has not responded either.
Federal campaign law states that campaign spending must not “result in the conversion of campaign funds to the personal use of the candidate or any other person.”
In total, Donald’s campaign purchased more than 3,500 copies of the hardcover version of ‘Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again’, or more than 5,000 copies of the paperback version, ‘Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America’.
Other FEC filings have previously revealed that the Trump campaign spends millions of dollars to travel by private jet with an airline in which the GOP presidential candidate is the CEO.
Donald also jacked up the rent for his own campaign offices in Trump Towers fourfold after money from donors started coming in. Again, Donald is just lining his pockets with delicious dollars at the expense of his donors. Crooked Donald’s supporters are suckers. Somehow, I’m OK with his supporters spending their hard earned money on a loser who will never get the keys to the White House. However, it’s not OK for a candidate to illegally use campaign funds.
‘Lock him up!’
Photo by John Moore via Getty.