“Questionable tax-free payments to Trump staffers raise ‘red flags'”


A series of filing anomalies point to a Donald Trump camp that is either unaware of campaign finance law, or is actively funneling donors’ cash to insiders, according to several experts interviewed by CNBC.

These “red flags,” as one expert deemed them, include a total lack of disclosure on which vendors staffers for the presumptive Republican nominee are paying, an “unusual” six-figure payout to campaign staff for nontaxable expenses and what appeared to be double reimbursements for some employees’ expenses.

When asked about the apparently unusual filing practices, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in an email that “the report speaks for itself.”

But experts said that message was not entirely clear, and at the very least broke with long-established protocols — something that would be entirely keeping in character for one of the most surprising campaigns in the modern era.

“In my view, the situation is significant if (what) we are seeing is a pattern that reflects serious problems with the campaign,” Larry Noble, general counsel of the Campaign Legal Center who also worked for 13 years as Federal Election Commission general counsel, told CNBC. “If the report is speaking for itself, it’s not saying anything coherent.”


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