At Trump’s Inauguration, $10,000 for Makeup and Lots of Room Service
WASHINGTON — Private donors put up $107 million to usher Donald Trump into office in style two years ago, and it is now clear just how enthusiastically his inaugural committee went to town with it.
There was $10,000 for makeup for 20 aides at an evening inaugural event. There was another $30,000 in per diem payments to dozens of contract staff members, in addition to their fully covered hotel rooms, room service orders, plane tickets and taxi rides, including some to drop off laundry.
The bill from the Trump International Hotel was more than $1.5 million. And there was a documentary, overseen by a close friend of Melania Trump’s, that was ultimately abandoned.
The details of the expenditures, gleaned from interviews and from documents reviewed by The New York Times and not previously made public, show that the committee spent heavily on nearly every aspect of the events surrounding the inauguration.
In 72 days, it laid out about $100 million, roughly twice as much or more than was raised by Barack Obama or George W. Bush for their first and second presidential inaugurations.
在72天的时间里，委员会花了大约1亿美元，大约是贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)或者乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)为两次总统就职典礼筹集资金的两倍甚至更多。
The expansive spending reflected Trump’s desire to make a grand entrance, with roughly 20 events around Washington, people familiar with the events said. It also had the hallmarks of previous Trump efforts, such as the campaign, with some Trump-family friends circumventing existing chains of command.
Disclosure of the spending details comes at a time when the inaugural committee is facing legal scrutiny over the donations that funded it.
Inaugural committees are required to document every donation with the Federal Election Commission, and the Trump team’s reports are now under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Investigators are also looking into whether any foreign donations, which are illegal in the United States, were passed through Americans, and whether any donations went unrecorded, people familiar with the investigations said.
根据有关要求，就职典礼委员会要向联邦选举委员会(Federal Election Commission)提交每一笔捐款的文件，曼哈顿和布鲁克林的联邦检察官目前正在调查特朗普团队的报告。知情人士称，调查人员还在调查是否有经由美国人进行的外国捐款存在——这在美国是不合法的——以及是否存在没有记录的捐款。
People involved with the committee have said that they vetted all donors, but that they could do only so much to prove someone’s money was their own. False statements to the Federal Election Commission can be a crime.
The investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan was prompted at least partly by a recording that Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, made of a conversation he had with a central figure in the inaugural planning, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, shortly after Melania Trump ended Winston Wolkoff’s role as an unpaid adviser to the first lady. Winston Wolkoff was dismissed after initial reports about the amount of money taken in by the entity she formed to help produce the inaugural.
至少在一定程度上，曼哈顿的联邦检察官进行的这个调查，是由特朗普的前律师、平事人迈克尔·科恩(Michael Cohen)与典礼规划的核心人物斯蒂芬妮·温斯顿·沃尔科夫(Stephanie Winston Wolkoff)的谈话记录所推动，那次谈话是在梅拉尼娅·特朗普解除了后者的第一夫人无薪顾问一职后不久进行的。在温斯顿·沃尔科夫为制作就职典礼仪式而成立的实体所获资金数额被报道出来后，她遭到解雇。
There is no indication of any investigation into the inaugural committee’s spending. For the most part, inaugural committees are free to spend the money they raise from private donations as they wish.
The bulk of the money for the inaugural committee came from big corporations, like AT&T, Bank of America and Pfizer, and wealthy Republicans donors like Sheldon Adelson and Andrew Beal.
就职委员会的大部分资金来自大企业，像是AT&T、美国银行(Bank of America)和辉瑞制药(Pfizer)等，以及谢尔登·阿德尔森(Sheldon Adelson)和安德鲁·比尔(Andrew Beal)等富有的共和党捐赠者。
Given the short time frame between Election Day and Inauguration Day, inaugural committees cannot always seek out the lowest bidder. In the case of Donald Trump’s inaugural, some staff members and major vendors were veterans of previous inaugurations.
Much of the spending, while outsize, was mundane. Documents reviewed by The Times accounted for the entire $107 million raised for the inaugural, with most of the money going to payroll expenses and roughly 40 entities, the bulk of which were hotel chains and other vendors.
Roughly $5 million went to charity, which organizers have noted is the most ever for an inaugural committee.
Winston Wolkoff, then a close friend of Melania Trump’s, was initially signed to a $1.6 million contract. Along with a friend, Jonathan Reynaga, she formed WIS Media Partners, a firm that oversaw broadcast rights for the inaugural events and worked on the documentary project featuring interviews with top inaugural committee officials.
作为梅拉尼娅·特朗普当时的密友，温斯顿·沃尔科夫起初签了一个160万美元的合同。她和另一个朋友乔纳森·雷纳加(Jonathan Reynaga)一起成立了WIS媒体公司(WIS Media Partners)，负责就职活动的转播权以及涉及就职委员会高层采访的纪录片项目。
The idea was to sell the rights to a major distributor. The project was later abandoned, although the interview footage still exists, as do copies, according to three people familiar with the effort.
WIS Media Partners became the inaugural committee’s top vendor, acting as a kind of general contractor and overseeing a series of events. It received nearly $26 million, much of which was paid out to other vendors.
Steve Kerrigan, who was chief of staff for Obama’s first inaugural committee, said that the firm’s $1.6 million “supervisory fee” was the equivalent of “roughly one-fourth of what we paid our entire 450-person staff” in 2009. Even if Winston Wolkoff shared the fee among more than a dozen other top managers, as she and others say she did, the charge itself, Kerrigan said, was “outrageous.”
Greg Jenkins, executive director of Bush’s second inaugural, said, “I have never heard anybody getting that kind of fee associated with any inaugural, ever.”
Winston Wolkoff often fought with other top aides, according to people with direct knowledge of events. She was known to threaten to have senior officials fired, at times brandishing a cellphone and saying she would text Melania Trump or Ivanka Trump, the president’s elder daughter, conveying a sense of authority that people later came to realize she did not have, three people with direct knowledge of the events said.
A lawyer for Winston Wolkoff declined to comment.
A spokesman for WIS Media Partners said all of the firm’s charges “were vetted, authorized and signed off on” by the committee’s top officials, including Thomas J. Barrack Jr., the committee’s chairman; Rick Gates, the deputy chairman; and Sara Armstrong, the chief executive.
WIS媒体公司发言人称，公司所有收费均经过委员会高层官员的“审查、授权和签署”，包括委员会主席小托马斯·贝拉克(Thomas J. Barrack Jr.)、副主席里克·盖茨(Rick Gates)和首席执行官萨拉·阿姆斯特朗(Sara Armstrong)。
He said that the firm’s fees were “significantly below” the customary charges “for equivalent productions,” and that officials provided the inaugural committee with “all its audited records and receipts.” He said the company could not reveal more because it is legally barred by the inaugural committee from discussing its work on the inaugural events.
In a statement, Barrack said he continues “to be proud of the incredible work of all those that were part of the committee” and that it “complied with all laws and regulations, and its finances were fully audited internally and independently. The donors were fully vetted and disclosed to the Federal Election Commission as required.”
Trump’s inaugural committee has come under scrutiny in the past for its high administrative and logistical costs. The new details help flesh out how the inaugural spent the money. Among the payments was more than $2 million spent on the firm of Trump campaign official Brad Parscale for online advertisements to drum up inaugural crowds.
The Trump International Hotel was paid more than $1.5 million for services including the use of a ballroom, an “annex” and a space called the town house, according to records and people familiar with the payments.
While two other hotels, the Willard and the Fairmont, collected as much or more, Trump’s hotel was also favored by vendors who billed their expenses directly to the committee.
Overall, the Trump team’s spending appears “astronomical,” said Emmett S. Beliveau, who was chief executive officer of Obama’s first inaugural committee.
整体而言，特朗普团队的支出似乎是“天文数字”，奥巴马首任就职委员会首席执行官埃梅特·S·贝利弗(Emmett S. Beliveau)说。
Jenkins, who handled the Bush inaugural, said the scale of the Trump team’s spending “blows me away.”
The spokesman for WIS said WIS expenses were paid through business cards tied to a few senior officials of the firm, including Reynaga, meaning that Reynaga could have been paying for other employees’ costs. He also said staff members stayed at the Trump International Hotel “at the explicit direction” of inaugural committee officials.
A former official of the inaugural committee denied that the WIS employees were required to stay at the Trump hotel.