Donald Trump's campaign spent about $3 million at his own businesses in the final election push.
The president-elect's campaign used Trump's hotels for lodging, golf clubs for events and planes for travel from Oct. 20 to Nov. 28, as it did throughout much of the campaign, according to Federal Election Commission data reported Thursday. In total, it spent more than $12 million at Trump-controlled businesses during the campaign.
Still, those costs were only a small chunk of the campaign's total expenses of $321.9 million for the cycle. The campaign previously defended the use of Trump properties, noting that he personally gave more to the campaign than the operation spent at Trump businesses. Trump put about $66 million into his campaign, according to his filings.
Trump is required to pay his companies for using their services. Still, such payments could mean negative optics for a president-elect already defending against accusations that he could blur business and politics when he takes office.
Since his election, Trump has accurately noted that the president does have some conflict of interest protections, even as he seemed to acknowledge that he brought up business in a call with a foreign official. Trump is expected next week to detail plans on what he called "leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country." But The New York Times reported that he may intend to keep a stake in his empire.
Trump has suggested he will hand control of his companies to his three eldest children, but that may not remove conflicts, as they serve on his presidential transition team and daughter Ivanka sat in on a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Trump's biggest expense at his companies in late October and November was a $2 million payment to TAG Air, which operates his plane.
The campaign spent nearly $200,000 for lodging at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas (a presidential debate was held in the city). It also reported lodging expenses at the Trump International Hotel in New York and facility rental and catering expenses at Trump golf courses in Florida and Virginia.
The Trump team reported more than $450,000 in rent payments to Trump Tower, as well.