President Trump’s company has charged the Secret Service rates as high as $650 a night to stay at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida while protecting him.
The Washington Post used federal records and sources with access to billing receipts to put together a still-incomplete picture of how taxpayer funds are being funneled into the president’s properties.
‘We provide the rooms at cost and could make far more money renting them to members or guests,’ Eric Trump, the president’s son and the Trump Organization’s executive vice president said in a statement, not elaborating how the company calculates an ‘at-cost’ rate.
Eric Trump also didn’t tell the newspaper what the Trump Organization was currently charging the Secret Service.
The president’s most recent trip to Mar-a-Lago – which he’s dubbed the ‘winter White House’ – was last weekend.
He also spent both Christmas and New Year’s Eve at the Palm Beach ocean-front resort.
The Post found dozens of instances in 2017 when the Secret Service was charged $650 a night to stay at Mar-a-Lago alongside Trump.
In 2018, the Secret Service was charged a lower rate of $396.15 dozens of times, the newspaper found.
A company spokesperson told The Post that the Trump Organization does not charge the Secret Service $650 a night, though wouldn’t say whether that’s the rate the president’s security detail was charged in the past.
The Secret Service was also billed $17,000 a month in 2017 to use a three-bedroom cottage on the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, the New Jersey property the president often visits during summer weekends, when Mar-a-Lago is closed.
The Post found that Trump’s company billed the government on days that Trump wasn’t at the property.
The Trump Organization spokesperson said that the rental cottage contains ‘multiple rooms and [includes]numerous common spaces.’
Overall, The Post found that the U.S. government was charged $471,000 for Secret Service to stay at Trump properties, but the record is in no way complete.
‘It is more than a little disconcerting, knowing this is going on, and not knowing what the actual numbers are,’ Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics told The Post.
‘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,’ Libowitz added.