$60K bill paid by RNC for President Trump and guests to attend UFC 244

November 5, 2019

The Washington Post reports that the Republican National Committee covered the costs of the seats President Trump and guests sat in during UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. According to reports, the cost of approximately $60,000 included catering and security.

President Trump, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) and Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) along with Eric and Donald Trump, Jr. attended the event.

The President was met with a mixed reaction of some cheers and some boos dependent on who you talked to.

Ticket demand for the event was at its highest since July’s UFC 239.

Payout Perspective:

As WaPo points out members of the House are allowed to take free tickets for the sporting events if the event is a “bona fide” fundraiser per House ethics rules.  “The event was not an official fundraiser nor a campaign event, so it is unclear how the lawmakers could accept tickets.” The RNC paid for the attendance because the President attend. The RNC also paid for seats in a luxury suite at Nationals Park for the President and other legislators from the party for Game 5 of the World Series.  He will be in attendance this weekend at the LSU-Alabama college football game.

With the added need for security in New York for the event, the huge bill was likely.  The questions as to how and why the other lawmakers could receive free tickets to the event is something that probably could be looked into but with the amount of controversy occurring with the administration, this seems like a blip on the screen.  It is interesting if the UFC looked into comping the tickets and/or allowed the President to pay face value for the tickets.

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