Tag: Trumps

Trump’s business appears to have cut Matt Gaetz a RNC hotel discount that went unreported to the FEC

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz Getty/Alex Wong

This article originally appeared [here on Salon.com]

The campaign to re-elect Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., a reliable ally of President Donald Trump, appears to have received a deep discount on lodging at Trump International Hotel in Washington during the Republican National Convention in August, federal records show. Such a discount would violate federal election law barring corporations from contributing directly to campaigns, according to campaign finance experts.

Recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show the Gaetz campaign made four separate payments, ranging from $216.20 to $261.47, for lodging at Trump’s hotel on Aug. 27, the last of four nights of the convention when Trump gave his acceptance speech from the White House lawn.

On that evening, the price for rooms for one adult through Hotels.com began at $795 and ran as high as $2,070, The Daily Beast reported. On the three convention dates prior to Trump’s keynote address, the hotel priced its cheapest room at $695 a night. (Rates for rooms this week range from $695 to $895.) 

It appears the hotel cut the Gaetz campaign a discount far below market rates. Even if the campaign had booked the cheapest room available, it appears to have paid about one-third of the market rate, saving anywhere between $470 and $530. Such a discount would represent an in-kind donation to the Gaets campaign, courtesy of Trump Old Post Office LLC. (The FEC treats any item of value as money.)

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A photo of Gaetz at the hotel alongside White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and New Jersey convention delegate Joseph Belnome was posted to the latter’s Instagram page on the day of the hotel payments.

Corporate contributions to candidates are illegal under federal election law. It is also illegal for companies to cut campaigns a special deal not given to other customers. When campaigns pay below normal prices, they must report the discount as a contribution. Per the Federal Election Commission: 

[A]nything of value made by any person for the purpose of influencing any election for Federal office is a contribution . . .

For purposes of this section, the term anything of value includes all in-kind contributions. . . [T]he provision of any goods or services without charge or at a charge that is less than the usual and normal charge for such goods or services is a contribution . . .

If goods or services are provided at less than the usual and normal charge, the amount of the in-kind contribution is the difference between the usual and normal charge for the goods or services at the time of the contribution and the amount charged the political committee.

The Gaetz campaign did not report a discount in its latest filing.

While it is possible that the Gaetz campaign booked the rooms in advance, it is unlikely to have made much of a difference. First, the reservations were unlikely to have been made with much advance notice. 

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Biden Flip-Flops, Now Supports Trump’s China Travel Ban He Once Called ‘Hysterical Xenophobia’

Joe Biden, in what can only be called a stunning flip-flop, now supports President Trump’s travel ban with China, which was imposed on January 31.

“Joe Biden supports travel bans that are guided by medical experts, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy,” Kate Bedingfield, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, told CNN. “Science supported this ban, therefore he did too.”

But Joe Biden did not support Trump’s travel ban with China. His record is quite clear on this.  In an op-ed in USA Today, Biden decried “reactionary travel bans,” just a few days before the China travel ban was implemented. Biden advisor Ron Klain said the idea of a travel ban was “premature.”

When the travel ban was implemented, Biden criticized the move during a campaign rally. “In moments like this, this is where the credibility of a president is most needed, as he explains what we should and should not do,” he said. “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, to uh, and fearmongering.”

The following day, he reiterated that sentiment in a tweet:

It seems as though the Biden campaign is trying to rewrite history by claiming he never opposed the travel ban with China that experts say saved thousands of American lives. Bedingfield claims Biden’s “reference to xenophobia was about Trump’s long record of scapegoating others at a time when the virus was emerging from China,” and that it was not a reference to the travel ban.

This Orwellian attempt to change Biden’s position is being aided by the media as well. Last week the Washington Post defended Biden from accusations by Trump that he opposed the travel ban with China because it was xenophobic by arguing that “whether Biden was specifically speaking about Trump’s travel restrictions is open to debate.

“The overwhelming evidence shows that Biden repeatedly slammed the restrictions out of a knee-jerk need to oppose President Trump’s every move.  And now that he has reversed himself, Biden adds to a long list of Trump actions that Biden has called for or agreed with after the President has already acted,” said Trump campaign Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh.

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Matt Margolis is the author of Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy and the bestselling book The Worst President

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Rep. Nadler Slams Trump’s ‘Irrational’ Restrictions on Travel from China to Stop Coronavirus

Rep. Jerry Nadler criticized President Trump for implementing travel restrictions to stop coronavirus as “irrational and doesn’t help the public health.”

LESKO: “Chairman Nadler, you stated just before that the President appropriately used 212(f) authority for the Coronavirus response, but did not —“

Trending: Trump Mocks Rachel Maddow After She Claimed He Was Lying About USNS Comfort

NADLER: “I didn’t say that.”

LESKO: “Oh, you didn’t say that?”

NADLER: “No, I said he’s used it many times appropriately.”

LESKO: “Do you think then that it is appropriate under 212(f) for the COVID-19 response?”

NADLER: “Let me — no, I don’t because it’s — it’s irrational and doesn’t help the public health.”

Rusty Weiss

About the Author
Rusty Weiss

Rusty Weiss is a freelance journalist focusing on the conservative movement and its political agenda. He has been writing conservatively charged articles for several years in the upstate New York area, and his writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, American Thinker, FoxNews.com, Big Government, the Times Union, and the Troy Record. He is also Editor of one of the top conservative blogs of 2012, the Mental Recession.

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