Donald Trump hated and actively rejected many aspects of the United States presidency—expecting him to be in the office before noon and should not watch TV eight hours a day, the whole bit about actually paying attention to intelligence briefings, etc. — but part of the job he loved was the opportunity it gave him to line his and his relatives’ pockets. Sometimes he did this in indirect ways — like operating a hotel less than a mile from the White House, where Republican lawmakers, executives with Justice Department cases, foreign officials, and anyone who wanted to kiss the ring knew that. it was wise to spend money. Other times it was simple, such as when he not only made the Secret Service pay to protect him in his profitable properties, but reportedly increased the cost of their stay fivefold.
The Washington Post reports that the Trump organization, which Trump did not divest from when he served as POTUS, was charging Secret Service up to five times the government fee for agents to stay overnight at Trump hotels while protecting him and his family, according to recent reports. data obtained by Congress After notes that the government-approved rate for a hotel in DC was typically between $195 and $240, but the Secret Service often had to get a waiver to pay many multiples of that while staying on Trump properties. when Eric Trump and his wife, lara, stayed at the Trump International Hotel in DC, the Trump Organization charged the agents $1,160 Donald Trump Jr. stayed at the same establishment, the bill was $1,185 a night for its security detail, i.e. nearly six times the government rate. The documents show that the Trump organization charged the Secret Service with at least $1.4 million to stay in Trump property. That figure, of course, was paid for by taxpayers and flowed straight into the Trump family’s coffers.
“The exorbitant fees charged to the Secret Service and the frequent sojourn of agents on Trump-owned properties are raising serious concerns about the former president’s actions and may have resulted in a taxpayer-funded windfall for the struggling companies of former President Trump,” Representative Representative Caroline Maloney said in a letter addressed to the director of the Secret Service Kimberly Cheatle.
In 2019 — right around the time the then-president was trying to convince people that holding the G7 conference in Trump Doral was not at all corrupt — Eric Trump, who ran the family business with Don Jr. in his father’s absence, to reporters: “When my father travels, [members of his government entourage] stay free in our properties, which means, like household expenses.” The younger Trump repeated this claim on Monday, insisting in a statement After: “All services rendered to the US Secret Service or other government agencies on Trump’s property were at their request and delivered either at cost, heavily discounted or free. The company would have been significantly better off if hospitality services had been sold to full-paying guests, but the company made every effort to accommodate the agencies to ensure they could do their work at the highest level.”
as the After notes, the newly revealed documents “do not cover all Secret Service expenses on Trump properties during his presidency and only reflect a fraction of that expenditure since he left office.” They also do not include the total amount taxpayers will pay outside of the Secret Service expense, as Trump often chose to conduct official state business in places where he could bring in cash. For example, when Trump received the Japanese Prime Minister in Mar-a -Lago in 2018, the club reportedly charged the government $16,500 for food and wine, $13,700 for guest rooms, $6,000 for floral arrangements and $3 for water. Yes, water.
Maloney, who noted in her letter that the documents her commission received did not include Secret Service accounts for a series of visits to Mar-a-Lago, several visits to his golf club in Bedminster, NJ, and stays at Trump-owned properties outside the United States, the agency’s director said: “Given long-standing concerns about the former president’s conflicts of interest and efforts to take advantage of the presidency, the committee has a strong interest in keeping a full set of accounts to get from federal government spending at Trump. properties.”
In May, The Daily Beast reported that the Secret Service had spent at least $1.3 million protecting him since his departure.
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