If you had 72 days and $100 million to throw a party, how would you spend it?
It might sound like a daunting task, but President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee pulled it off. And a new report from The New York Times lays out how they did it.
Overall, donors shelled out $107 million for Trump to ascend to the presidency in style, and his party planning committee put all of it to use, according to the Times.
The bulk of it went to vendors like hotel chains and to payroll. But here is a rundown of some of the spending highlights from the Times’ report:
- $5 million to charity, which organizers told the Times was a new record
- $10,000 on makeup for 20 aides
- $30,000 per diem payments to dozens of staff members
- $1.5 million to Trump International Hotel for use of a ballroom and other spaces
- $6.5 million to book hotel room blocks, only half of which were used
- $1.6 million to Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a friend of Melania Trump’s, for a supervisory fee
Wolkoff joined Jonathan Reynaga, another friend of the Trumps, to form WIS Media Partners, which handled the inaugural broadcast rights and the production of a documentary about the inaugural that was never completed, the Times reported.
WIS Media Partners ended up helping to oversee much of the event planning. The group was paid a total of $26 million, which mostly went to subcontractors and other vendors.
Steve Kerrigan, the chief of staff for former President Barack Obama’s first inaugural committee, told the Times that the $1.6 million “supervisory fee” paid to Wolkoff was “outrageous.”
“I have never heard anybody getting that kind of fee associated with any inaugural, ever,” Greg Jenkins, who was the executive director for former President George W. Bush’s second inaugural, told the Times.
Federal prosecutors are reportedly looking into the money raised by the inaugural committee. Although the spending does not appear to be at issue, according to the Times, the source of the donations is being scrutinized, particularly for foreign contributions, which would be illegal under U.S. law.
Multiple media reports said the probe into the inaugural funds was spurred, at least in part, by a conversation Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen taped between himself and Wolkoff in which she expressed concerns about the money.
The inaugural committee has said it acted in “full compliance with all applicable laws” and that all the donors were all vetted.
Contributing: Christal Hayes