Drain the... whatever
President-elect Donald Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee has raised $90 million in private donations for the festivities surrounding Trump taking the presidential oath of office, a record amount and twice the $43 million President Obama's inaugural committee raised in 2013. It's not clear where that money will go, especially since his inaugural planner says he wants to emphasize "soft sensuality" and avoid a "circus-like atmosphere" at the inauguration. Obama's 2009 inauguration, with 10 balls, huge crowds, and lots of A-list talent, didn't cost the $55 million Obama raised for it; Trump has only three balls planned.
"I can't imagine how they are going to spend that amount of money — and why they would even keep raising money," Steve Kerrigan, CEO for Obama's inaugural committee in 2013 and chief of staff in 2009, told The Associated Press. "We planned the two largest inaugurations in the history of our country and we never spent anywhere near that." The money will go toward the balls, parade, reviewing stands, dinner, and bleachers; taxpayers will spend tens of millions on security, the swearing-in platform, and other expenses.
Trump inaugural committee spokesman Boris Epshteyn said the group is "fully focused on organizing world-class events that honor our nation's tremendous history and reach every corner of the globe." Any excess money raised will be donated to charity, Epshteyn said, though AP notes dryly that "Trump hasn't specified what charities might benefit from any leftovers," and "some of his past pledges to donate to charity haven't always immediately panned out."