Taxpayers' bills for Trump Organization properties have surpassed $1.1 million, The Washington Post reports.
As the Post has consistently reported via Secret Service bills, President Trump and his administration have repeatedly funneled government money to the family's properties throughout his term. That has included above-market rates for rentals that ensured Secret Service agents stayed close to Trump and, most recently, payments to one club that was closed for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Post's David Fahrenthold reports via the latest round of receipts and invoices.
The coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the service industry this spring, including the Trump Organization's Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club. But while the club was closed, it still charged the Secret Service more than $21,800 to stay on the property, the Post reports. That included $567-a-night charges for a three-bedroom cottage close to Trump's villa — an "unusually high for a rental home in the area," the Post writes. The invoices also detailed charges for one or two additional rooms, at $142 to $283 per night. Trump didn't visit the club during the pandemic, but his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump did, The New York Times reported at the time.
The newly obtained invoices also revealed that Trump's Turnberry resort in Scotland "once charged the Secret Service $1,300 to move furniture," and that the Trump Organization tacked on "resort fees" when agents were guarding Vice President Mike Pence in Las Vegas. Read more at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk
Taxpayers are directly enriching the Trump family's businesses, sometimes even footing the bill for rooms no one is using, The Washington Post reports
It's no secret President Trump likes to visit his Trump Organization properties when he travels, and makes frequent visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort. So frequent,the Post reports, that the Secret Service rents out rooms at Mar-a-Lago when Trump isn't even there, just in case he makes a surprise visit.
The Secret Service's careful planning stems from a snub at Mar-a-Lago early in Trump's presidency, records and emails obtained by the Post reveal. The agents tasked with protecting Trump were trying to book a room near the president a few days in advance of a March 2017 trip, but were told they were all booked up. "I do have a Beach Cabana available ... across the street at the Beach Club," a Mar-a-Lago staffer emailed to the Secret Service.
From then on, the Secret Service booked rooms at Mar-a-Lago for two weeks at a time. "The agency was paying for rooms on nights when Trump wasn't even visiting — to be ready just in case Trump decided to go," the Post reports via a former Trump administration official. And it paid off for the Trump Organization. Taxpayers have covered more than $900,000 spent at Trump's businesses during his presidency, $570,000 of it stemming from Trump's travel.
White House spokesperson Judd Deere told the Post that it is "blatantly interfering with the business relationships of the Trump Organization." "We are building up a very large 'dossier' on the many false David Fahrenthold and others' stories," Deere said in a statement, referring to one of the Post reporters investigating Trump's businesses. Read more at The Washington Post. Kathryn Krawczyk