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How Trump is pocketing our money, visualized

America’s top public servant is using his office to get rich.

How Trump is pocketing our money, visualized
[Source Photo: Neonbrand/Unsplash]

Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp” and stop corrupt elites from profiteering off the hard work of We The People. As this infographic shows, he’s doing the opposite.

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ProPublica used publicly available data to determine exactly how much money Trump is pocketing directly from taxpayer-funded and political spending at Trump Properties. The grand total? $16.1 million, so farAs the organization reports in its June 27 investigative piece, the “federal taxpayer data is incomplete because agencies are fighting disclosure.” Talking to ProPublica, one federal employee explained that he or she “could offer clarity, but I choose not to.”

An infographic divides the money into three sources: the Donald Trump for President Inc. political campaign, other political campaigns, and U.S. taxpayer money. Typically, the money pictured here would be spent on hotels or airlines that have nothing to do with the president or candidate. Gotta fly or host the Secret Service? No problem, just use any of the many companies that provide those services. But since Trump owns hotels and airplanes and he or his family use them, the government pays Trump for his space and services.

Explore the interactive graphic here. [Image: ProPublica]

ProPublica‘s findings don’t just include big-ticket items, like the government spending $2.39 million on Trump Tower rentals. The reporters also found “small” expenditures by plenty of other government agencies and local entities–like the Florida Police Chiefs Association, which “held its summer conference last year at the Trump National Doral Miami.” Talking to ProPublica, law professor at Washington University in St. Louis Kathleen Clark said that “Trump appears to be commandeering federal resources in order to maximize revenues at Trump properties, and he does this by visiting properties close to the White House . . .  and when he travels to the golf courses in Florida, Virginia, and New Jersey, other agencies that are involved in supporting the president end up spending money.”

Notably, the graphic doesn’t include the money that private companies and other countries are choosing Trump properties, likely a way to curry favor from the president and his crooked family. According to ProPublica, “since Watergate, presidents have actively sought to avoid conflicts between their public responsibilities and their private interests . . . every president since Jimmy Carter sold his companies or moved assets into blind trusts or broadly held investments.” Trump, however, did none of this. He will pocket the money, which is not only grossly unethical but dubiously legal. I don’t know if he’s Making American Great Again, but this graphic shows that he’s making his own profits great again.

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About the author

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce and a contributing writer at Fast Company.

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