Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Akron, Ohio, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Akron, Ohio, Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) (The Associated Press)

Campaign's rising rent at Trump Tower came as space expanded

Markets Associated Press

Donald Trump's campaign is taking up more space inside Trump Tower in New York -- and paying a lot more in rent.

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The Republican presidential nominee's campaign paid $35,457 per month for rent and utilities to Trump Tower Commercial LLC between last August and this April, Federal Election Commission reports show. The payment began increasing in May and hit $169,758 last month.

The rent hike at the Manhattan skyscraper came as the Trump team expanded from using only the fifth floor to add two additional levels, according to a statement Tuesday from the campaign.

"We calculated the rent based on the average rent per square foot in the area," the statement says. It also notes that Trump made a $2 million personal donation last month, which more than covers the rent.

The Huffington Post first noted the bigger payments.

The Trump campaign tripled its rented space even though it has maintained only about 70 people on payroll, as well as a few dozen consultants, for the past several months.

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"The expansion is in anticipation of more staff," said Steven Cheung, director of Trump's rapid response. Cheung himself is a recent hire whose salary wasn't noted in the July reports.

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Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.