Trump's inaugural committee gave less than expected to charity while giving a large sum of cash to a top Melania adviser

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesMelania Trump.
  • President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee donated less than expected to charity, The New York Times reported.
  • Trump’s inaugural committee spent a record $US107 million on the inauguration festivities.

The New York Times reported Thursday that President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee paid more than $US25 million to an event-planning firm founded by a close adviser to first lady Melania Trump while donating $US5 million, a lower-than-expected total, to charity.

Those findings were the result of tax filings released Thursday, The Times noted. The committee, a nonprofit group tasked with overseeing Trump’s inauguration and connected events, spent a record $US107 million on the events.

Tom Barrack, a wealthy businessman and close friend of Trump’s, said the committee would donate its leftover cash to charity. The tax filings showed that those donations included $US3 million for hurricane relief and $US1.75 million to groups that decorate and maintain both the White House and Vice President Mike Pence’s residence.

Most money went toward the festivities, with nearly $US26 million spent on Wis Media Partners, a group created just a month prior to the inauguration by a longtime friend of the first lady, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, The Times reported. Wolkoff is now a senior adviser to Melania’s official government office and is not paid for her role.

Melania’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, told The Times that the first lady “had no involvement” with the inaugural committee “and had no knowledge of how funds were spent.”

Another company, Hargrove, Inc., a trade show production company, was paid $US25 million for its work. Other expenses included ticketing, promotional gifts, travel, legal fees, fundraising, and salaries, which combined totaled roughly $US20 million. In addition, an extravagant concert featuring Three Doors Down and Toby Keith cost about $US25 million.

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