For any other politician, this alone could be a career-ending scandal. For Donald Trump, it’s barely a blip.
But we’re going to break it down for you as quick as we can.
Barack Obama‘s inaugural committee raised a whopping $53 million for his inauguration. That money paid for all the inaugural music acts, balls, vendors. It actually beat the previous record, which was held by George W. Bush who raised $42.3 million for his inauguration events.
So that’s about how much these things cost. Crazy expensive, but it is kind of an enormous city-wide party. Except, if you think THAT’S a lot…
The Trump inaugural committee raised $106.7 million!!! Yeah.
But those who watched probably noticed — it wasn’t twice as big as Obama’s. In fact, it was all around smaller.
The Trump committee promised to give all the leftover money it didn’t spend to charity, a really magnanimous gesture. Unfortunately, it seems to only be a gesture. Because they donated a grand total of $5 million. (At least, they said they did. USA Today reported last month they could not confirm all those donations had even been made.)
So… where did the rest of that money go??
The committee claimed to have gone over budget and spent it all, including $25 million on the concert alone!
Trump had Toby Keith, 3 Doors Down, and Lee Greenwood, and closer to 5,000 seats. With a price tag of $25 million. WTF.
So basically for months now watchdog groups have been trying to find out just where all the money went, and Team Trump finally, very quietly released that info via mandatory IRS filing two weeks ago. On February 15.
We can’t say for sure that they knowingly waited for another dominant news story and then exploited a high school shooting as a way to get this news out under the radar. But it’s suspect.
Why? Because the numbers are not adding up.
Most glaringly, as The New York Times reports, was $26 million paid to the consulting firm of Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a fashion exec who had produced the Met Gala among other events. She’s also Melania Trump‘s longtime friend.
What could she possibly have done for or with that much money? No one seems to know!
What we do know is Stephanie personally got paid $1.62 million. And then she got a job afterward as “a special government employee” in Melania’s office. Whatever that means.
Well, now that this scandal is out in the open, Melania has already cut ties with Stephanie; her office has told The New York Times this week Mrs. Trump “had no knowledge of how funds were spent” and has now “severed the gratuitous services contract with Ms. Wolkoff.”
For her part, Ms. Winston Wolkoff called the media coverage “completely unfair.”
As the Trumps do, they’re throwing gurl under the bus. As though she’s the source of the corruption — like she just walked in and wrote herself a check for $26 million.
Like we said, MILLIONS of dollars unaccounted for. If this had happened with Obama in 2009, Fox News would STILL BE TALKING ABOUT IT NOW!
But no, Trump wants to give guns to teachers now, so as usual we have to deal with the immediate threat first.
But we just thought YOU should know!
[Image via Oliver Contreras/Pool Via CNP/Media Punch.]