President Donald Trump is pulling off an unprecedented, taxpayer-backed cash grab, scheme to enrich himself, his family and his friends. And he’s doing it out in the open.
According to new documents obtained by the watchdog group Public Citizen, President Donald Trump’s properties have charged taxpayers nearly eight times more than previously claimed for Secret Service stays.
Eric Trump has claimed that Secret Service agents “stay at our properties for free — meaning, like, cost for housekeeping.” He insisted last year that “we charge them, like, 50 bucks.”
But receipts obtained by Public Citizen and first reported by The Washington Post show that Trump’s properties have charged the Secret Service $396 per night for 177 rentals at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort since he took office, totaling over $70,000.
According to The Post, some Trump properties charge taxpayers as much as $650 per room. The president’s Bedminster, N.J. golf club also charged $17,000 per month for Secret Service agents to rent a cottage on the property. The Secret Service continued to pay for the cottage even after he left.
The report found that taxpayers spent more than $471,000 on Trump properties, but the new receipts show that the Trump Organization charged Secret Service an additional $157,000 since 2017, bringing the total to more than $628,000.
Trump has spent 355 days, or nearly a full third of his presidency, at his own properties. After reviewing hundreds of Trump property stays, The Post was unable to find any instance in which the Trump Organization charged agents for $50, as Eric Trump claimed, or even below $100.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the chairwoman of the House Oversight Committee, told The Post that she has not gotten a response to her requests about Secret Service spending records at Trump’s resorts.
“The Secret Service has a statutory duty to report its expenditures at Trump properties,” she said. “And the incomplete record further underscores the need for transparency.
Jordan Libowitz of the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, agreed that the delayed release of records may be more concerning than what is in the records produced so far.
“It is more than a little disconcerting, knowing this is going on, and not knowing what the actual numbers are,” he said. “That’s kind of crazy that we know the president is benefiting from the presidency, and we do not know how. We do not know how many taxpayer dollars are in his pocket.”