Donald Trump’s campaign spent $55,055 at Barnes & Noble on purchases of his own book, according to a filing with the Federal Election Commission and a new report by The Daily Beast. This report comes a day after it was revealed that the Trump team paid over 400 percent more in rent to Trump Tower after donors began funding the campaign.
A Trump spokesperson told The Daily Beast the books were for the purposes of RNC gifts, which the campaign team “[has] to do.” The Republican National Committee did not confirm or deny that Trump’s team was required to spend this much on gifts for attendees. RNC gift bags included kitschy “Make America Great Again!” items and a copy of Trump’s recent book, Crippled America: How To Make America Great Again.
According to The Daily Beast, if Trump receives the royalties from these sales, the transaction would be illegal 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,” a spokesman for the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan group, said to the website. “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.”
Trump’s team had no comment for the publication when asked about whether Trump would forgo royalties.
Photo: Republican U.S. Presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign event at the Merrill Auditorium in Portland, Maine August 4, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer