A super PAC aligned with former President Donald Trump made a $155,000 payment to Melania Trump in late 2021, an atypical transaction that was not available in the group’s reports and only came to light Thursday in a personal financial disclosure filing by Trump, The New York Times reports. In the new filing, the money was listed as pay for a “speaking engagement” by Melania Trump sent on Dec. 2, 2021, by Donald Trump’s then-leading super PAC Make America Great Again, Again.
The super PAC’s report showed two payments made to “Designer’s Management Agency,” which identified Melania Trump as a client on its website, on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3, 2021, for $125,000 and $30,000. The PAC’s filing also denoted the payments as “event planning and consulting,” according to Federal Election Commission records. Charles Gantt, who served as the now-defunct super PAC’s treasurer, told the Times that it had “complied with all applicable reporting obligations.” Another unnamed representative for the PAC said that Melania Trump had been hired and paid for “design consulting” for the group’s 2021 fundraising dinner event and additional services rendered outside of the first contract.
Former New Jersey governor and 2024 presidential candidate Chris Christie called out Trump as “shameless” online Thursday evening. “Trump is shameless. A billionaire using donor money to pay personal legal fees, and now paying his wife more than 2x what the average American makes just to pick some tableware,” Christie tweeted. “There’s grifting and then there’s Trump grifting. Undisputed champs.”