President Donald Trump's inaugural committee paid out nearly $26 million to an event planning company that was reportedly founded by an adviser to first lady Melania Trump.
The 58th Presidential Inaugural Committee — which organized Trump's inauguration last year and was led by Tom Barrack, a close friend of the president and a financial backer of the campaign — paid a company called WIS Media Partners $25.8 million for "event production services," tax returns released Thursday by the organization showed.
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
A spokesperson for Melania Trump told NBC News that the first lady "had no involvement with the PIC, and had no knowledge of how funds were spent." The first lady's office added that Wolkoff is a special government employee for the office and is unpaid.
The Times reported that Wolkoff was personally paid $1.62 million of the $25.8 million.
Thursday's filing showed that the group ultimately donated about $5 million to charitable organizations, including $1 million to three involved with hurricane relief: the American Red Cross; the Salvation Army; and Samaritan's Purse. Another $1 million went to the White House Historical Association, while the Smithsonian Institution got $250,000.