Donald Trump’s travels as president have seen federal government funds paid to his own properties, but records now show the extent to which his adult children are responsible.
The Washington Post’s latest examination of Secret Service accounts shows that of the $1.2m the US government has spent at Trump properties during his presidency, approximately 20 per cent stems from his family’s travels.
This amounts to at least $238,000 to date.
When the president’s family members travel, it is not unusual to request protection — and there is nothing wrong with them doing so — however, the Post questions whether those seeking protection should also be charging the Secret Service for accommodation.
The paper writes that it created “the appearance that Trump family members were exploiting their publicly funded protection for private financial gain”.
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He argues that they charge housekeeping costs, are not allowed to give the government the rooms for free, and are losing money as the rooms could otherwise be occupied by paying guests.
The Post reports $175 a night at the Trump hotel in Washington, DC, as a low mark on bills where a rate was listed, but in most cases, the room rates had been redacted by the Secret Service.
The federal government was billed for Eric Trump’s trips to golf courses in Scotland; for Eric Donald Jr and Tiffancy to attend the grand opening of the Trump hotel in Vancouver; and for numerous trips to the Bedminster, New Jersey, property by Ivanka Trump in the spring when people were being asked to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The average rate per night at Bedminster in the spring was $630 according to the records the Post examined. The Vancouver hotel charged the government $14,900, and the Scotland golf trip cost in excess of $12,000.
The Secret Service, White House, and Ivanka Trump declined to comment for the Post article, and no response came from the other three adult children.
House Democrats demanded to see documentation relating to Secret Service expenditure at Trump properties in February.
Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and representative Jackie Speier wrote to James Murray, director of the Secret Service regarding their concern about the lack of transparency.
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