Speed Reads

Things that make you go hmmm

Trump charged hundreds of thousands of dollars last year for his campaign to use a virtually empty room at Trump Tower

President Trump's re-election campaign spent over half a million dollars in 2017 to rent out space on the 14th floor of Trump Tower, despite the fact that only five people appear to be on the payroll, HuffPost reports. "There's nobody there. It's like two guys," said a Republican consultant. "There is no campaign. There is no operation. It's just a joke."

In 2015 and the spring of 2016, when Trump was primarily self-funding his campaign, the rent for the Trump Tower offices was $35,458 a month. By July 2016, when Trump started accepting donations, that price almost quintupled to $169,758 a month, despite the number of staff staying relatively consistent.

Last year, Trump spent $473,371 of donors' money at Trump Tower, although HuffPost notes that "about $150,000 of that was likely for the month immediately after his election, when the campaign was occupying more space in the building." In total, the campaign spent $774,163 at Trump-branded businesses in 2017. The Republican National Committee, which took over paying monthly rental of the Trump Tower office in autumn for $37,542 a month, spent a total of $150,169 at Trump businesses by the year's end.

"This is the least surprising president in history," said GOP consultant Stuart Stevens of those numbers. "He's exactly the same person he was in the campaign. It's what you signed up for."

Editor's note: This story's headline originally misstated who is currently paying rent at Trump Tower. It has since been corrected. We regret the error.