The Crazy Story Behind That Payment the Trump Campaign Made to 'Draper Sterling'

We really shouldn't be surprised at anything Donald Trump says or does.

He seemingly bankrupts everything he touches and he refuses to share his tax returns. So it should come as no surprise that a recent SEC filing by the Donald Trump campaign revealed three payments of $10,000 to a Londonderry, New Hampshire company called Draper Sterling. 

Yes, you read that right.

The Donald Trump campaign paid $30,000 (or $35,000 depending upon the source) to a company named very closely to Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, the fictitious ad agency featured in the AMC show "Mad Men." But where did the money actually go?

A little digging by ThinkProgess editor Judd Legum found that the address of this Draper Sterling -- a residential home on 18 Crosby Lane in Londonderry, NH -- is very close to the New Hampshire address of recently fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. 

But a little more digging reveals the New Hampshire-based Draper Sterling is actually an LLC and, apparently, real. The firm is said to have been registered in March, and the SEC filing lists the purpose of payment to this firm as "Web advertising." 



The Draper Sterling entity was formed as a Delaware corporation on December 2, 2015. On February 14, a man named Jon Adkins registered the firm in New Hampshire with formal creation on March 25. In addition to the payments to Draper Sterling, the Trump campaign made a payment of $3,000 for consulting to Adkins — and a payment of $3,000 for consulting to a man named Paul Holzer whose address is, interestingly, also 18 Crosby Lane. 

Adkins and Holzer work together at a firm called Xeno Therapeutics, a Boston firm which makes technology that helps burn victims. The Huffington Postreports there is no phone number listed for the firm and its Web site was taken down shortly after a story was published about Draper Sterling. 

It gets even messier.

Holzer is involved in a super PAC called Patriots for America, which is supporting the Missouri gubernatorial race run by his brother Adam McLain. ThinkProgresshighlighted a complaint made to the PAC that it owes $54,234 to, yes, Draper Sterling. If you try to reach Patriots for America, the phone numbers lead to the voicemail for a cafe called Grace Grantham, a New Hampshire business registered to Adkins. 

ThinkProgress attempted to get a few more details from McLain. They were unsuccessful. 

Asked about his connection to Draper Sterling and what services it provided to his super PAC, McLain said he had “no comment.”

Asked whether Grace’s Grantham Cafe was a real cafe that has opened, McLain said he had “no comment.” Asked whether Paul Holzer was his brother, McLain also said he had “no comment.” McLain said he didn’t find the questions “relevant.” 

Politics as usual, right?  

Needless to say, the Trump camp is not commenting on this.

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