Three Texas Republicans are among the 11 politicians who spent the most in campaign-related funds at President Donald Trump’s privately owned properties over the past year, according to a Washington Post report Tuesday. And one Texan — U.S. Rep. Jodey Arrington — has spent more at Trump-branded properties than any national Republican official other than Trump himself.
Arrington spent $16,602 in campaign funds on a January reception at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel for more than 100 supporters, the most expensive campaign event held by another GOP politician at the Trump hotel, the Post reported. A spokeswoman for the Lubbock Republican told the Post the hotel “happened to offer the best combination of size, price point, along with a convenient and historic location.”
U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Tomball, has spent $7,585 at Trump-branded properties since Election Day 2016, and U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, has spent $3,286. Both McCaul and Williams spent campaign funds for events at the BLT Prime steakhouse at Trump’s D.C. hotel.
McCaul was under consideration to be Trump's homeland security secretary at the time of the reception; a spokeswoman for the congressman told the Post his campaign did not select the venue because of its owner.
Trump’s private businesses — and their potential crossover effects on his public duties — have come under increased scrutiny over the past year, with many ethics watchdogs criticizing the president for not fully ceding control of his private business empire. Trump himself has spent $534,864 at his own properties through his campaign and two affiliated committees since the start of 2017.
The Trump Organization has seen an increase in revenue from hosting fundraisers and other events for Republican lawmakers, according to the Post. Forty congressional Republicans have spent campaign or leadership PAC money at a Trump property since Trump was elected president. No Democrats have reported spending any money there.