$26 million in inauguration funds went to a brand-new company formed by longtime Melania friend

You can presume that everything the Trump family does is a grift.

President Trump’s inaugural committee paid nearly $26 million to an event planning firm started by an adviser to the first lady, Melania Trump, while donating $5 million — less than expected — to charity, according to tax filings released on Thursday. […]

The 116-page filing indicates that the overwhelming majority of the funds went toward expenses related to the inauguration, with the biggest share — nearly $51 million — split roughly evenly between two companies.

The $26 million went to a company formed one month before the inauguration run by a “longtime friend” of Melania Trump, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff; The Times reports that friend “made her name planning Manhattan society galas.” She now works in the White House, because of course she does.

Ms. Winston Wolkoff personally received $1.62 million for her work, according to one official from the inaugural committee, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the details publicly. The official said that Ms. Winston Wolkoff’s firm paid the team used by Mark Burnett, the creator of “The Apprentice,” whose involvement in the inaugural festivities was requested by Mr. Trump.

Seems like one and a half million dollars is a pretty remarkable payday for “planning” a single event, but what do we know. It sounds like everyone involved with the event did pretty well for themselves; of the astounding $107 million raised, the group donated $5 million to charity and has only $2.8 million left to disburse. So they really did spend roughly $100 million on an inauguration and balls. Whether they got $100 million worth of glamour out of it is another question.

Just as an aside, Obama’s inauguration cost only half as much but had many, many more people. You know, just as an aside.