Spending toward the limit

In February it was revealed that the the Trump Campaign is turning to the Republican National Committee for its rent in Trump Tower, as well as first nephew John Pence’s salary. Since September of 2017, the RNC pays $37,541.67 each month in rent to Trump Tower, and $12,000 a month, or $144,000 a year, to John Pence as the deputy executive director of the campaign. Although the nepotism around Donald Trump is staggering, paying from the RNC eats into the Trump campaign’s ability to coordinate with the party committee in the future. In 2016, the limit on coordination was $24 million. If the Trump campaign plans to operate in tandem with its party committee, these payments are highly counterintuitive, according to Brendan Fischer, senior counsel for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center speaking with CNBC.

RNC slush fund

Trump’s personal head of security and former Director of Oval Office operations, Keith Schiller, made the news recently over his raid of President Trump’s medical records from Dr. Harold Bornstein’s office in February 2017. Schiller worked at the White House when he intimidated the president’s former doctor, but has since moved to the Republican National Committee.

KS Global Group — Keith Schiller’s private security firm — now receives $15,000 every month for security services from the RNC convention fund. The party convention accounts are often operated as “slush funds” because they are not heavily regulated, according to a former special counsel for the FEC. Even if Schiller is working on the convention, it seems premature over two years from the next RNC.

His new campaign manager

Brad Parscale served as Trump’s digital strategist in 2016, and was appointed campaign manager for the president’s re-election effort in February. Less than 10 years ago, he was looking for clients in the web design section of book stores, but now he is responsible for the reelection campaign of a sitting U.S. president. The extra business led to a financial windfall for the digital strategist — Parscale’s firm received a total of over $100 million from Trump, his campaign, and the Republican National Committee since 2015.

Parscale sold his firm to CloudCommerce in 2018, and then joined its board of directors. CloudCommerce faces suspicion of stock manipulation from regulators. Jonathan Lei, an executive at CloudCommerce, was arrested in a 2006 FBI bribery sting after which he pled guilty to securities fraud. Lei worked at the company as recently as 2015. Parscale chose to sell his business and join the board of a financially irresponsible business, but that didn’t stop Eric Trump from saying, “He has our family’s complete trust and is the perfect person to be at the helm of the campaign.”

Altogether, Donald Trump’s political apparatus is taking strange steps in its relationship with the RNC, as well as selecting new leadership. His new campaign manager has multiple ties to dubious finance, which went so well for his predecessor, Paul Manafort. Using a major party committee to fund rent and pay a six-figure salary to one of the boss’s nephews is highly unusual over two years prior to an election, let alone three. Considering the rent, Pence, and Keith Schiller’s post-White House payout, Trump appears to be using the RNC itself as a slush fund. Why does someone who claims to be “very rich” need so much financial help?

Read more: Republican Donors in Trump’s Cabinet