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Author Topic:   Where did Trump's Inaugural Funding Go?
dwise1
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Posts: 3235
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 1 of 11 (845079)
12-11-2018 3:22 PM


Does anybody know the latest on the accounting irregularities for the funding donated for Trump's inaugural festivities, Jan 2017? About a year ago (c. Jan 2018), I heard it reported that Trump had raised twice as much as Obama did (about $100 million opposed to about $50 million) and yet there was far less to the Trump festivities in comparison with Obama's (eg, Obama's featured many big-name acts whereas Trump's featured little more than one no-name band). Most inaugural committees close their accounting books within six months with an account of where all money went to. When I heard the story, after a full year Trump's committee had not yet closed its books and there was still about 50 million dollars that hadn't been accounted for -- that's about half of the funds donated. A year later after that, does anybody know whether anything has changed?

Google'ing, I found that most reports dated from around Jan 2018, a year ago. There were a few more going into Summer 2018. Here is the most recent one that I found: "Why Trump’s inauguration money is a major part of Mueller’s Russia investigation: Russia-tied donations and oligarch connections have drawn Mueller’s interest.", by Andrew Prokopandrew@vox.com, 05 Jul 2018 8:10am EDT, VOX, https://www.vox.com/...uguration-mueller-russians-rick-gates . It gets into a lot of the history of that inaugural with links, including sources of the donations and perks that that bought. Down at the end of the article, here is what it says about that missing $50 million (web links not copied over here, so go to that article in order to follow them):

quote:
What happened to the money?

Beyond the many questions about money collected by the inaugural committee, there have long been many questions about money going out of it.

In Ilya Marritz’s great piece on this topic for WNYC and ProPublica, several people involved in previous inaugurations were quoted expressing puzzlement over how Trump’s team could have possibly spent over $100 million for what they got.

Unlike a campaign, the inaugural committee isn’t legally required to disclose very much about its spending. In its nonprofit tax form, the committee is required to break down its expenses in broad categories and to list its five biggest vendors. But it is not required to explain every line item.

In any case, according to the tax form, about half the money — over $50 million — went to just two vendors. $25.8 million went to WIS Media Partners, an event production firm started by a now-former adviser to Melania Trump. Another $25 million went to Hargrove Inc. for “event production.” What these firms did with those massive sums of cash is unknown.

That leaves about $50 million or so remaining. From that, about $10 million in total went to another three vendors, $4.6 million was paid out as salaries, and $5 million was left over and given out as grants. But where tens of millions more went remains a mystery, beyond the broadest of categories given on the disclosure forms.

For now, whether this was sloppy financial mismanagement or something shadier, is unclear. But if there is anyone who might know where much of the money went, it is Rick Gates. And whatever he knows, Robert Mueller now knows too.


Does anybody know of any new developments on this?


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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3235
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 2 of 11 (845081)
12-11-2018 3:23 PM


Trump and Money
There is a long history of how Trump operates which sadly only the blue territory of New York and New Jersey know about. Not paying his bills is only one facet. Another facet is that he would create companies and then suck out of them all the personal cash that he could, driving them into bankruptcy, etc.

I first noticed that pattern playing out during the campaign itself. Trump's campaign headquarters was based on his own property, leasing those facilities from Trump (albeit through his company, but the profits still went into Trump's pockets). And the campaign fed its workers with Trump caterers, the profits from which went yet again into Trump's own pockets. And what did Trump do immediately upon winning? He registered for re-election. So he could continue to operate his (now re-)election campaign and keep that cash flowing into his pockets. That campaign headquarters was a big cash cow for Trump and a primary rule in business is to keep your cash cow well fed.

Then on 06 Dec 2018, Forbes published this article, "How Donald Trump Shifted $1.1M Of Campaign-Donor Money Into His Business", by Dan Alexander -- https://www.forbes.com/...aign-donor-money-into-his-business. In addition to confirming my observations, he also examines questionable expenditures from the campaign funds, including campaign offices in Trump Plaza that nobody can find nor have ever heard of (ie, those offices appear to not even exist, so where's the money going?).

I heard another story a few months ago which is verified by this article in The Guardian: ‘This guy doesn’t know anything’: the inside story of Trump’s shambolic transition team -- Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and The Big Short, reveals how Trump’s bungled presidential transition set the template for his time in the White House, 27 Sep 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/...mps-shambolic-transition-team.

The story that I heard was that Trump threw an absolute fit when he learned that the transition fund was being used to pay for transition expenses. Trump thought that that money belonged to him personally and he was livid that they were "stealing his money". That confirmed to me that Trump viewed the money being raised was for the purpose of lining his own pockets. The timeline of the article covers events before the actual 2016 election, which would have been a time when Trump didn't anticipate actually winning and so was solely into the money.

From the article, basically Chris Christie saw that the Trump transition team was in serious trouble so he volunteered:

quote:
In late April {2016}, {Christie} saw the article. It described meetings between representatives of the remaining candidates still in the race – Trump, John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – and the Obama White House. Anyone who still had any kind of shot at becoming president of the United States apparently needed to start preparing to run the federal government. The guy Trump sent to the meeting was, in Christie’s estimation, comically underqualified. Christie called up Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to ask why this critical job had not been handed to someone who actually knew something about government. “We don’t have anyone,” said Lewandowski.

Christie volunteered himself for the job: head of the Donald Trump presidential transition team. “It’s the next best thing to being president,” he told friends. “You get to plan the presidency.” He went to see Trump about it. Trump said he didn’t want a presidential transition team. Why did anyone need to plan anything before he actually became president? It’s legally required, said Christie. Trump asked where the money was going to come from to pay for the transition team. Christie explained that Trump could either pay for it himself or take it out of campaign funds. Trump didn’t want to pay for it himself. He didn’t want to take it out of campaign funds, either, but he agreed, grudgingly, that Christie should go ahead and raise a separate fund to pay for his transition team. “But not too much!” he said.


After describing the unwelcoming atmosphere towards Christie:

quote:
By August, 130 people were showing up every day, and hundreds more working part-time, at Trump transition headquarters, on the corner of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. The transition team made lists of likely candidates for all 500 jobs, plus other lists of informed people to roll into the various federal agencies the day after the election, to be briefed on whatever the federal agencies were doing. They gathered the names for these lists by travelling the country and talking to people: Republicans who had served in government, Trump’s closest advisers, recent occupants of the jobs that needed filling. Then they set about investigating any candidates for glaring flaws and embarrassing secrets and conflicts of interest. At the end of each week, Christie handed over binders, with lists of names of people who might do the jobs well, to Kushner, Donald Jr and the others. “They probed everything,” says a senior Trump transition official. “‘Who is this person?’ ‘Where did this person come from?’ They only ever rejected one person: Manafort’s secretary.”

Then Trump caught wind of this legally required and conscientiously executed activity and the shit hit the fan:

quote:
The first time Trump paid attention to any of this was when he read about it in the newspaper. The story revealed that Trump’s very own transition team had raised several million dollars to pay the staff. The moment he saw it, Trump called Steve Bannon, the chief executive of his campaign, from his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower, and told him to come immediately to his residence, many floors above. Bannon stepped off the elevator to find Christie seated on a sofa, being hollered at. Trump was apoplectic, yelling: You’re stealing my money! You’re stealing my fucking money! What the fuck is this?

Seeing Bannon, Trump turned on him and screamed: Why are you letting him steal my fucking money? Bannon and Christie together set out to explain to Trump federal law. Months before the election, the law said, the nominees of the two major parties were expected to prepare to take control of the government. The government supplied them with office space in downtown DC, along with computers and rubbish bins and so on, but the campaigns paid their people. To which Trump replied: Fuck the law. I don’t give a fuck about the law. I want my fucking money. Bannon and Christie tried to explain that Trump couldn’t have both his money and a transition.

Shut it down, said Trump. Shut down the transition.

Here Christie and Bannon parted ways. Neither thought it was a good idea to shut down the transition, but each had his own misgivings. Christie thought that Trump had little chance of running the government without a formal transition. Bannon wasn’t so sure if Trump would ever get his mind around running the federal government; he just thought it would look bad if Trump didn’t at least seem to prepare. Seeing that Trump wasn’t listening to Christie, he said: “What do you think Morning Joe will say if you shut down your transition?” What Morning Joe would say – or at least what Bannon thought it would say – was that Trump was closing his presidential transition office because he didn’t think he had any chance of being president.

Trump stopped hollering. For the first time he seemed to have listened.

“That makes sense,” he said.

With that, Christie went back to preparing for a Trump administration. He tried to stay out of the news, but that proved difficult. From time to time, Trump would see something in the paper about Christie’s fundraising and become upset all over again. The money that people donated to his campaign Trump considered, effectively, his own. He thought the planning and forethought pointless. At one point he turned to Christie and said: “Chris, you and I are so smart that we can leave the victory party two hours early and do the transition ourselves.”


The article continues describing the transition up to Trump firing Christie and the rest of the transition team:

quote:
It wasn’t just Christie who had been fired. It was the entire transition team – although no one ever told them so directly. As Nancy Cook reported in Politico, Bannon visited the transition headquarters a few days after he had given Christie the news, and made a show of tossing the work the people there had done for Trump into the bin. Trump was going to handle the transition more or less by himself. Not even Bannon thought this was a good idea. “I was fucking nervous as shit,” Bannon later told friends. “I go, ‘Holy fuck, this guy [Trump] doesn’t know anything. And he doesn’t give a shit.’”

They were about to take control of the portfolio of existential risks managed by the US government. Only they weren’t. On the morning after the election the hundreds of people who had prepared to brief the incoming Trump administration sat waiting. A day became a week and a week became a month … and no one showed up. The parking spots that had been set aside for Trump’s people remained empty, and the briefing books were never opened. You could walk into almost any department of the US government and hear people asking the same question: where were these people who were meant to be running the place?

The department of agriculture was an excellent case study. The place had an annual budget of $164bn and was charged with so many missions critical to the society that the people who worked there played a drinking game called Does the Department of Agriculture Do It? Someone would name a function of government, say, making sure that geese don’t gather at US airports, and fly into jet engines. Someone else would have to guess whether the agriculture department did it. (In this case, it did.) Guess wrong and you had to drink. Among other things, the department essentially maintained rural America, and also ensured that the American poor and the elderly did not starve. Much of its work was complicated and technical – and yet for the months between the election and the inauguration, Trump people never turned up to learn about it. Only on inauguration day did they flood into the building, but the people who showed up had no idea why they were there or what they were meant to do. Trump sent, among others, a long-haul truck driver, a telephone company clerk, a gas company meter reader, a country club cabana attendant, a Republican National Committee intern and the owner of a scented candle company. One of the CVs listed the new appointee’s only skill as “a pleasant demeanor”.

All these people had two things in common. They were Trump loyalists. And they knew nothing whatsoever about the job they suddenly found themselves in. A new American experiment was underway.



Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by riVeRraT, posted 12-15-2018 6:01 AM dwise1 has responded

    
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5368
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


Message 3 of 11 (845086)
12-11-2018 4:55 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by dwise1
12-11-2018 3:22 PM


Where did the money go??

Back to Russia?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by dwise1, posted 12-11-2018 3:22 PM dwise1 has responded

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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3235
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 4 of 11 (845098)
12-12-2018 5:22 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Coragyps
12-11-2018 4:55 PM


Trump giving them a refund? Especially considering he has earned the money he's gotten from Russia. It's much more likely that that money has gone to Trump and his family and cronies.

Of course, there are the additional questions of where those donations came from, which could lead to possible money laundering. So if the money did come Russia as dirty money, then it could well be that some of it returned to Russia as laundered money. Don't forget that a lot of NRA donations to many politicians came from Russia.

The main point of my questions is that that is a lot of money that was slushing about and large portions of it is still missing, not accounted for. Graft and corruption abound. Tracking down Trump and GOP finances should be given a high priority.

This one is more a rumor, but right after the election I heard it reported that more than 200 million dollars were transferred from Russia into the first of a long convoluted chain of shell companies. Russian payment for Americans working for them having succeeded? If that is true, I would certainly hope that money is also being investigated.

The principles for recruiting traitors is given through two interpretations of the acronym, MICE:

  1. M = Money
  2. I = Ideology
  3. C = Coercion or Compromise
  4. E = Extortion or Ego
In our General Military Training (GMT) briefings on counter-intelligence (all service members get them), it was pointed out that easiest way to turn an American is to offer him a lot of money. For Trump, ego would also be a major factor. Compromise comes in a distant third. In my opinion.
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3235
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 5 of 11 (845271)
12-13-2018 6:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by dwise1
12-11-2018 3:22 PM


Now today we have news that Trump's inaugural committee's finances are part of a criminal investigation: WSJ: Trump inaugural committee under investigation, CNN on YouTube.

The game is afoot!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by dwise1, posted 12-11-2018 3:22 PM dwise1 has responded

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Faith
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Posts: 30422
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 6 of 11 (845273)
12-13-2018 6:55 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by dwise1
12-13-2018 6:49 PM


The Left's whole strategy is to "investigate" everything, insinuate everything, label everything criminal whether it is or not, and generally try to create an impression in the public mind to turn his supporters against him. That's the entire strategy. There doesn't have to be anything of substance in any of it, it's all innuendo but as Hitler knew so well, lies work, and the Left has no moral integrity, they are traitors.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16081
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 6.4


(3)
Message 7 of 11 (845287)
12-13-2018 9:10 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Faith
12-13-2018 6:55 PM


The Left's whole strategy is to "investigate" everything, insinuate everything, label everything criminal whether it is or not, and generally try to create an impression in the public mind to turn his supporters against him.

This strategy seems to be working rather better than the right's strategy of ignoring criminality and corruption so long as the criminal has an R next to his name.

But why are you whining about "the left"? This investigation is being conducted by the police, not the Democratic Party.

There doesn't have to be anything of substance in any of it, it's all innuendo but as Hitler knew so well, lies work, and the Left has no moral integrity, they are traitors.

If you have any evidence that anyone at all on the left has committed treason then you should show it to someone. The police, the Justice Department, Fox News.

If on the other hand you are just screaming out filthy stupid hysterical hateful lies without a shred of evidence ... then you might just be a conservative. Oh, and a "Christian" of course.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


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Taq
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Posts: 7641
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 4.5


(4)
Message 8 of 11 (845357)
12-14-2018 4:09 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by Faith
12-13-2018 6:55 PM


Faith writes:

The Left's whole strategy is to "investigate" everything, insinuate everything, label everything criminal whether it is or not, and generally try to create an impression in the public mind to turn his supporters against him. That's the entire strategy. There doesn't have to be anything of substance in any of it, it's all innuendo but as Hitler knew so well, lies work, and the Left has no moral integrity, they are traitors.

The Department of Justice is investigating possible criminality, not the Democrats or the Left.

Also, were you born after Obama left office? Did you forget about the complete nonsense the Republicans were constantly investigating, like Benghazi? Did you forget about the Birther nonsense? Clinton emails?

Edited by Taq, : No reason given.


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riVeRraT
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Posts: 5746
From: NY USA
Joined: 05-09-2004
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 9 of 11 (845375)
12-15-2018 6:01 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by dwise1
12-11-2018 3:23 PM


Re: Trump and Money
He would buy companies and suck all the cash out of them driving them into bankruptcy? I thought Trump owned like 515 business, and only 6 went bankrupt. You are fake news. I think he even paid back most of his debts. Some of the corporations that went bankrupt were not even solely owned by Trump.
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3235
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.7


(1)
Message 10 of 11 (845454)
12-16-2018 1:35 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by riVeRraT
12-15-2018 6:01 AM


Re: Trump and Money
He would buy companies and suck all the cash out of them driving them into bankruptcy?

Really? That's all you got out of that? Nothing more? Like his funneling campaign contributions into his own pocket by housing everything in his own properties? Then immediately register for re-election in order to keep that campaign contribution scam running and keep the cash flowing in? You really didn't pick up on any of that? Really? And those "campaign expenses" includes offices in Trump properties that nobody can locate? Really? Or the way that Trump thought that the funding for the transition was supposed to be his own personal cash? Didn't raise any red flags for you? Really?

Also, I noticed that you didn't even quote what I had written:

DWise1 writes:

Another facet is that he would create companies and then suck out of them all the personal cash that he could, driving them into bankruptcy, etc.

OK, I didn't mean to imply a causality there, but I guess I could see how you'd have thought what you did.

At the same time, you have made a valid point. I mean, the very idea of Trump being able to plan out something like that gets more and more far-fetched the more you think about it. We already know all too well what a moron he is and that he has no ability to plan anything. All that he's good at is bullying and deceiving and lying, but his true talent is to deceive you into not realizing that he's lying because he acts as if he's telling you the truth (to be fair, he apparently cannot tell the difference between reality and his lies).

So, he does suck cash out of businesses, that being one of his business models. He's a failed businessman, so indications are strong that he mismanages his businesses (I mean, how could a casino in Atlantic City to bankrupt like that except through mismanagement?). Is his sucking cash out of those businesses the cause of their going bankrupt? Or was it other aspects of his mismanagement? I admit that it's difficult to tell just how exactly he had managed to screw this one up.

In the meantime, there's been another development that confirms another one of my suspicions. Did Trump's campaign get any kind of discount leasing Trump's own properties or using Trump's own services (eg, catering)? What about that $80 million we've spent for Trump to play golf at his own resorts? Any discounts there? I always betted that Trump charged at least full price on everything, no discounts not even for Trump himself, you know, the owner of the place. Now from the inaugural scandal, we have his daughter Ivanka over-charging the inaugural committee for the Trump venues that they used.

I think he even paid back most of his debts.

HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

Hey riVeRraT! Could I interest you in a prime piece of NYC real estate? I happen to own the Brooklyn Bridge and I could sell it to you for just $100,000. Wat'cha say?

Trump's basic business model is to not pay his bills. He does not pay back his debts. If he did, then American banks would have been willing to loan him lots of money based on your assessment of his credit rating, but instead he couldn't get a loan in this country because his credit rating was so abysmally low so he had to go to a sketchy German bank to borrow Russian money.

Now, when stiffing debtors for his bankrupt businesses, the bankruptcy itself can be excuse enough for those debtors to have to accept pennies on the dollar. In the other cases, he would contract to have work done and then refuse to pay the contractor. The contractor is forced to sue Trump, so then Trump's lawyers use all kinds of legal tricks and delay tactics that promise to drive the contractor's legal costs up way beyond the amount they're trying to collect. In addition, many contractors operate on a knife's edge of financing anyway, so those mounting legal costs for trying to collect from Trump could easily drive them out of business themselves. So in the end, they end up having to settle for pennies on the dollar.

Trump paid back most of his debts? Oh fuck no! That's nothing closer to how he operates.

Why don't you have any clue what Trump's been doing? Have you been living under a rock for the past few years?


This message is a reply to:
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dwise1
Member
Posts: 3235
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.7


Message 11 of 11 (845527)
12-16-2018 6:15 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by dwise1
12-13-2018 6:49 PM


Follow-up news on the investigation into the inauguration committee confirmed a suspicion of mine regarding Trump's golf trips to his own golf resorts which were last reported to have cost us $80 million.

Needless to say, all the profit from those golf vacations go into Trump's own pocket. Of course he's not making any money off of the travel and salary expenses, but he is making money on what we're paying for meals, lodging, rentals at the resort (eg, golf carts), golf fees, etc.

What I always wondered was what kind of a deal the resort has been given Trump and his entourage. It's a large group so a group discount should be in order. He owns the place, so he should be able to stay, eat, and play for free. Are we getting any kind of a discount or special rates? Now I think that we are indeed getting a "special rate", an inflated rate.

The news from the inauguration investigation is that Ivanka handled the booking at Trump's hotel and charged the inauguration committee inflated rates. Now, I had always thought that Trump's resorts have been charging us the taxpayers full price for everything, including Trump's expenses. However, this news of overcharging sets a precedent which indicates that Trump's been charging the government higher than full price in order to increase the amount of money flowing into his pockets.


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