More than $700 million in President Trump's political spending since 2019 was funneled through a limited liability corporation, shrouding details about where the money went. Jared Kushner, who was behind American Made Media Consultants, installed Lara Trump, who's married to the president's son Eric, and Mike Pence's nephew John on the board, the New York Times reports. Running TV ad buys, say, and other major spending through an LLC keeps information such as the amount and who's receiving it undisclosed. Mitt Romney, when he ran for president in 2012, had a similar mechanism, as did other candidates. A Trump spokesman said Lara Trump and John Pence were not paid to be on the board and added that both stepped down last year to concentrate on the president's reelection campaign. "However, there was never any ethical or legal reason why they could not serve on the board in the first place," Tim Murtaugh said.
The LLC did pay some Trump family members and advisers, per Business Insider. The president's organization has been accused before of using a pass-through to hide payments and avoid disclosures required by federal law. In July, the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center lodged a complaint with the FEC, saying the campaign covered up $170 million in spending by using the LLC. The complaint called the action "laundering the funds." One person familiar with the Trump LLC said it allowed Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., to stay on the campaign payroll. Members of the campaign leadership team said they couldn't figure out what AMMC was doing, either, including how much money individual vendors were pocketing. (More Federal Election Commission stories.)