Election 2016

Report: Trump Used Small Donor Money To Buy Copies of His Book

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JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

You can evidently add copies of his books to the list of ways GOP nominee Donald Trump has funnel campaign money to himself.

Trump has reportedly used nearly $300,000 in small donor money (individual donations less than $200) to buy copies of his ghost-written book The Art of the Deal.

Remarkably, the RNC is complicit as the money was funneled through the RNC's joint fundraising operation known as the Make America Great Again Committee.

According to the committee’s Oct. 15 FEC filing, it paid Penguin/Random House $91,866 on Aug. 30, $98,975 on Sept. 1, and another $98,975 on Sept. 22. The purpose for all three was listed as: “Collateral: Books.” [...]

At the standard bulk discount offered by publishers, Trump’s fundraising committee could have purchased some 17,000 copies of the hardcover edition. Under a typical publishing contract, that quantity would generate over $70,000 in royalties, which Trump would have to split with his co-author.

As you know, Trump's ghost writer Tony Schwartz has pledged to donate his share of royalties to charity, and last month he followed through on that pledge, but we can't say the same for Trump. The GOP nominee doesn't do charity.

Trump has previously used campaign cash to buy copies of his most recent book Crippled America, but that was a purchase totaling just $55,000, significantly less than the nearly $300,000 spent on copies of The Art of the Deal.

Trump's campaign has distributed signed copies of The Art of the Deal to donors who make a donation of at least $184, but their donations are then used to buy even more copies and, in either case, the money winds up in the hands of Trump. Trump's campaign is using virtually every Trump-brand vendor and property that exists. He raising money to spend it on raising even more money.