President Donald Trump’s campaign is secretly paying out large sums of money to the wife of one Trump son and to the girlfriend of another – $180,000 each through the campaign manager’s private company, according to key insiders with direct knowledge of the arrangement.
The girlfriend of eldest son Donald Trump Jr., Kiberly Guilfoyle, is receiving $15,000 a month and so is Lara Trump, Eric Trump’s wife, according to two GOP sources who revealed the information under the condition of anonymity.
They said they couldn’t speak as to when the payments started but they do know they are being made through Trump campaign manager Bradley Parscale’s company so as to avoid the public reporting requirements that would be in place if the money came directly from the campaign.
Parscale made one comment to HuffPost recently before going silent on the matter: “I can pay them however I want to pay them.”
There are critics of the arrangement on both sides who say the setup is created to get around FEC rules that require full disclosure from campaigns, political parties, and other committees about their spending.
Paul Ryan, a campaign finance legal expert at the watchdog group Common Cause said, “A lot of people close to Donald Trump are getting rich off of his campaign… They don’t want donors to know that they’re getting rich. Because, at the end of the day, it’s donor money.”
Stuart Stevens, who served as a top aide to 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s campaign, had harsh words: “That’s why Parscale has the job. He’s a money launderer, not a campaign manager.”
“That’s why Parscale has the job. He’s a money launderer, not a campaign manager.”Stuart Stevens, on Trump’s campaign manager Bradley Parscale
During the 2016 election season, Lara Trump, 37, made appearances and conducted some media interviews on behalf of Trump. She continues to be active in “Women for Trump” events and acts as a 2020 campaign “senior adviser.” Parscale confirmed in 2017 he had officially hired her to work for his company, which meant she would continue to work for Trump’s campaign.
Since Guilfoyle, 51, began dating Donald Trump Jr. two years ago, she’s been a regular at campaign events. And up until she left the network in 2018, she was a Fox News regular contributor. Earlier this year she appointed chair of Trump Victory which is the fundraising committee that helps acquire and distribute funds to both the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee.
One White House adviser said of Guilfoyle, “She’s doing stuff, but she’s just like this silly cheerleader… She gets on these donor calls, and it’s ridiculous.”
The New York Times first reported the payments but did not disclose the amounts. That report included the incident on June 18, 2019 when Guilfoyle questioned Parscale about why her payment checks were always late and he stated he would look into it, suggesting that the arrangement had been in place for some time.
The Trump campaign and the RNC have been artfully dodging FEC rules that require campaigns, political parties and other committees to disclose all payments to employees by running many of theirs through Parscales private companies.
Giles-Parscale and Parscale Strategy LLC, both belonging to Parscale, have received a whopping $38.9 million in payments from Trump’s campaign, the RNC, fundraising committees and a Trump supporting super PAC rom the day the president took office through the last data filings on record in February of this year.
The practice of Trump pumping donor money to his kids goes hand in hand with his practice of pumping donor money straight into his pockets, which he’s been doing since 2016 when he became the presumptive Republican nominee and started seeing insane GOP money. At that very same time, Trump quintupled the rent he charged his campaign headquarters at Trump Tower, from $35,458 per month to $169,758. He also started charging the campaign five- and six-figure amounts to use his hotels and golf resorts for events. See what he did there?
That backhanded behavior didn’t end when he won. His campaign pays out $37,542 a month in rent to Trump Tower, even though it is now operating out of an Arlington, Virginia location. And every time his campaign or the RNC hosts an event at Trump properties, he pockets hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time.
Robert Weissman, president of the liberal group Public Citizen, “Grift and graft is the family business.”
As as been proven over the last couple of years, the Trump campaign would love to drag the Biden family for Hunter Biden’s positions on lucrative boards while his father was the VP, but these payments to Guilfoyle and Lara Trump will make that a difficult argument to win.