Republican governors spent more than $400,000 at Donald Trump’s golf course in Miami this year, according to the group’s latest filing with the IRS.
The largest payments at Trump National Doral, which were each described simply as an “event” in the filings, made up $117,966 in April and $289,810 in June.
A pair of smaller payments in March totaling $812 were listed for travel and lodging.
The payments make up the largest payments reported to a Trump business by a political entity, according to the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
The expenses apparently related to the RGA’s Corporate Policy Summit, which was held in May.
An RGA spokesperson said the event was booked before Trump officially entered politics:
“The May 2017 event at Trump Doral in Miami was booked in February 2015 – months before Trump announced he was running. We usually book many of our events years in advance. For CREW to infer anything on this, is lazy on their part and further proof that they are nothing but a Democrat front group.”
The Tampa Bay Times reported that confirmed attendees at the May event included GOP Govs. Scott Walker (Wis.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Doug Ducey (Ariz.), Asa Hutchinson (Ark.), Matt Bevin (Ky.), Paul LePage (Maine), Larry Hogan (Md.), Eric Greitens (Mo.), Henry McMaster (S.C.) and Doug Burgum (N.D.).
The RGA’s payments to Trump National Doral Miami are also significantly larger than payments the organization made for similar events in 2016, suggesting the group may be willing to pay more to patronize the president’s businesses. According to IRS records compiled by Political Moneyline, the most the RGA paid an event venue that year was $285,616 at the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, which included the event deposit, venue rental, lodging, parking, and travel expenses.