PPE supplier CEO and wife ponied up $82,000 to GOP prior to tasting bourbon with Rand Paul at Trump's hotel

The boss of a fledgling PPE distributor and his wife contributed $72,000 more than what was previously known before they sipped a little bourbon at the Trump Hotel D.C. with Sen. Paul

From the Sept. 4, 1100 Pennsylvania

Just months after founding a company that imports and distributes personal protective equipment, its CEO and his wife contributed more than $11,000 to President Donald J. Trump’s re-election efforts. Records show the donations were the couple’s first federal campaign contributions in more than a decade and their largest ever—by tenfold—to any one candidate.

Four weeks later, the maskless couple was smiling in the Trump Hotel D.C.’s glitzy tasting salon, sipping fine bourbons alongside the chair of a Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over the government’s emergency spending.

Since that first report, the Republican National Committee has been disclosed four new contributions from that couple.

They total $71,000.

And all four were made just weeks before SNS Global USA CEO Richard Kofoed and his wife Stacey enjoyed that bourbon tasting with Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in the Trump Hotel D.C.’s swanky Experience Salon.

Trump still owns his businesses and can profit when a back room is booked to entertain new GOP donors who run a PPE startup.

The Kofoeds and a spokesperson for Paul didn’t respond to 1100 Pennsylvania’s requests for details about their conversation during the tasting, any additional campaign contributions that were made, and who chose and paid the president’s hotel. Reached previously, Richard Kofoed declined to comment on the record.

All told, the Kofoed’s have contributed $82,200 to the Trump campaign and the RNC since Richard organized SNS Global USA, LLC in the corporate tax haven of Delaware, just as the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding market for preventive measures in the United States was taking off. The couple’s prior contributions to federal political campaigns totaled just $1,025, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The federal government has not awarded SNS Global USA, LLC any contracts, per the General Services Administration.

While in D.C., the Kofoed’s also watched the president’s convention acceptance speech from the White House lawn and met with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R–CA). For more details, read 1100 Pennsylvania’s original report.

As for the president’s business, in the third quarter of 2020, the RNC and Trump campaign’s joint fundraising committee, Trump Victory, paid Trump Hotels $769,000.


Financial-services trade group paid Trump’s Doral $155,000 in 2018

An asset-management industry trade group paid President Donald J. Trump’s Doral resort more than $155,000 to host a leadership forum in 2018. And the association seems set to return there in 2021.

Throughout his term, Trump has taken many steps to deregulate the financial industry according to The Brookings Institution’s tracker.

The president still owns his businesses and can profit when special interest groups book them.

From Feb. 28–March 2, 2018, NICSA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit trade association for the global asset-management industry, held its strategic leadership forum at Doral. Per the group’s IRS Form 990 for 2018, NICSA paid Trump Doral $155,200 to host the meeting (making the president’s business the trade group’s second largest contractor that year). NICSA’s reported revenue in 2018 was $1.2 million, meaning 12.8 percent of its annual in-take was spent at the president’s business.

The event’s location and the amount NICSA paid Doral have not been reported previously. 1100 Pennsylvania found the Form 990 while poking around ProPublica’s Nonprofit Explorer.

Doral had hosted gatherings for the group before Trump was a candidate for the presidency (including 2010–2013). According to Financial Planning though, 2013 was to be the “final year” NICSA’s annual conference took place at Doral.

Officials with NICSA did not immediately respond when asked why the association chose to return to the president’s resort, if it’s patronized any other Trump businesses, and if there was any discussion about the expenditure’s size.

In 2017, NICSA paid $114,450 to the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida for hosting its forum. The gathering was held at a Fort Lauderdale Marriott in 2020.

The CEOs of Morningstar, Putnam, and Northern Trust were expected to be among the more than 350 attendee at Doral in 2018, per a press releases. More than 15 financial-services firms sponsored the 2018 forum.


President, maskless, made his 66th visit to a Trump property since pandemic’s onset

Trump visited his Doral club for a fundraiser Thursday and stayed over until Friday. Per 1100 Pennsylvania’s tally, the president now has called on Trump properties 66 times since Chinese officials disclosed an outbreak of flu-like symptoms.

But Thursday was Trump’s first time visiting one since he was diagnosed with coronavirus. He walked through the facility without wearing a mask [due to a formatting constraint, select the link to watch the video].


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Notable sightings

A glimpse of the foreign officials, government employees, politicians, lobbyists, and the like who patronize or appear at Trump businesses. Most people shown here have reasons to want to influence the Trump administration, rely on its good graces for their livelihoods, or should be providing oversight. Additionally, high-profile guests serve as draws for paying customers.

The mayor of Linwood, New Jersey, Darren Matik (R), hung out with one of his sons.


Other Trump Organization news


Reference section

Links to rundowns of developments in the House’s investigations and lawsuits, reference sheets for some of 1100 Pennsylvania’s previous reporting, and articles that provide the background on why all of this matters. The date published or last updated is in parentheses.

Trackers

Notable hotel customers

Summaries

  • Stay to play: Inside the sordid history of Trump’s D.C. hotel—And why the president’s prized property could be headed for a reckoning” by your correspondent for Mother Jones (September 2020)

  • Power tripping in the swamp: How Trump’s D.C. hotel swallowed Washington
    The MAGA social scene is a movable feast, but its dark heart resides within the Old Post Office Building, where the Trump Org operates under a mercenary charter” by your correspondent for Vanity Fair (October 2019)

  • Inside the world’s most controversial hotel: The hotel that was expected to take its place among the crown jewels of D.C.’s travel scene has become a magnet for protestors, a West Wing Annex, and—possibly—the center of a constitutional crisis.” by your correspondent for Condé Nast Traveler (May 2018)

Upcoming key dates

  • Sept. 23, 2019—House Judiciary Committee hearing “Presidential corruption: Emoluments and profiting off the presidency” (postponed, not yet rescheduled)

  • Oct. 15, 2020—Deadline for State Department to start turning over documents related to its spending at Trump properties in response to a lawsuit filed by The Washington Post.

  • Dec. 9, 2020—Deadline for exchanging witness lists in the D.C. attorney general’s lawsuit alleging improperly spent nonprofit funds by the Trump Hotel D.C. and Trump’s inaugural committee.


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