A week after the Republican National Committee paid thousands for him to attend Game 5 of the World Series, the organization picked up another significant bill for President Donald Trump’s attendance of a sporting event.
The RNC paid $60,000 for Trump’s cageside seats at UFC 244 in New York City on Saturday, according to Josh Dawsey of The Washington Post.
The total cost reportedly includes the catering and security required for the president’s attendance, as well as his several guests. Among those sitting with Trump were Republican congressmen Kevin McCarthy, Mark Meadows and Peter King, as well his two adult sons Donald Jr. and Eric.
Trump got a mixed reception from UFC crowd
For that price tag, Trump got to see a main event between two fan favorites in Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal end in anticlimactic fashion. Masvidal was given the “BMF” belt after a doctor ruled that Diaz could not continue following the third round due to a deep cut above his right eye.
Trump himself saw a mixed reaction from MMA fans at Madison Square Garden, with both cheers and boos audible in the crowd. That was at least better than his reception at Nationals Park, which was dominated by jeers and chants of “Lock him up.”
Trump is a longtime friend of UFC president Dana White, dating back to his support of the UFC when the existence of MMA as a sport was still highly controversial.
Congressmen might have skirted ethics rules
The Post noted that McCarthy, the House minority leader, and his Republican colleagues are not allowed to accept free tickets for sporting events unless it’s for a fundraiser:
Members of the House are allowed to take free tickets for sporting events if the event is a “bona fide” fundraiser, according to House ethics rules. The event was not an official fundraiser nor a campaign event, so it is unclear how the lawmakers could accept tickets. Members also have to receive written approval to take a gift. The official said the RNC paid because the president attended.
It’s unclear if any actual consequences could emerge from that, though Trump and his allies obviously have bigger things to worry about these days.
Trump to attend college football game this weekend
The president’s sports-heavy stretch may continue this Saturday, as the stage is reportedly being set for him to attend the SEC West clash between No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 LSU.
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