Jan. 20 will mark the two-year anniversary of Donald Trump's presidential inauguration. Now, halfway into his presidency, the American public is getting a closer look into how Trump's inauguration costs were broken down, thanks to the New York Times.
The paper's recent report on spending for Trump's inauguration was developed through interviews and document review, the New York Times noted. The Trump administration has not commented publicly on this report. Bustle reached out to the White House for comment on the matter, but has not yet received a response.
The New York Times reported that private donors offered $107 million to fund Trump's inaugural activities — and his inaugural committee spent $104 million of these funds on a host of different endeavors, ABC News noted. Namely, the paper reported that the committee spent $10,000 for makeup for 20 aides for an evening event on Inauguration Day, $1.5 million on a Trump International Hotel bill, and $30,000 on per diem payments for various staffers who additionally had their travel expenses fully covered.
ABC News also noted that Trump's inaugural committee paid $130,000 to Tiffany & Company after purchasing salad bowls for some inaugural guests. Again, the White House has not commented on any of these cost breakdowns.
The amount raised and spent by Trump's inaugural committee far outweighs fundraising and expenditures for each of Barack Obama and George W. Bush's inaugural committees, the New York Times reported. Indeed, ABC News reported in January 2009 that, for Obama's first inauguration, his inaugural committee had a budget of around $45 million. The outlet added that Bush's committee spent around $42 million for his second inauguration in 2005.
The New York Times spoke with staffers from Obama's and Bush's former inaugural teams, both of whom indicated that they were surprised at the amount spent by Trump's committee. Emmett Beliveau, the chief executive of Obama’s first inaugural committee, said to the paper that Trump's inaugural committee spending seemed "astronomical" to him. Greg Jenkins, the executive director of Bush’s second inaugural, also told the paper that the Trump committee's spending "blows me away." The White House has not commented on characterizations of Trump's inaugural committee's spending.
This is not the first time that matters related to Trump's inauguration have received significant attention. Indeed, shortly after the 45th president took the oath of office, Trump's former press secretary Sean Spicer made some erroneous claims about his inaugural crowd size. Spicer inaccurately claimed during a January 2017 press conference that Trump's inauguration crowd was the "the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.”
As Time reported, despite evidence to the contrary, both Spicer and Trump continued to insist that Trump's inaugural was the "most-watched ever." Later on, Spicer seemed to change his tune a bit, with the now former press secretary saying in a 2017 New York Times interview that he regretted chastising reporters for pushing back against his incorrect crowd size claims. "Of course I do [regret it], absolutely,” he told the paper.
Overall, Trump's inauguration is certainly continuing to draw attention nearly two years after the event took place. It remains to be seen whether or not the administration and the American public will respond to recent reports about inaugural committee spending.