President Donald Trump will host the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting at Trump National Doral, which more than doubled its room rates just before the White House announced his Thursday visit, according to HuffPost.
The resort raised the nightly rate for its least expensive rooms from $254 to $539, the latter figure sitting just under the maximum per-night rate federal government rules permit for a hotel in South Florida.
Trump is only scheduled to be at the property for a few hours, but at least two dozen staff typically need to arrive a few days ahead to prepare for his arrival. The White House would not reveal how much Trump’s Secret Service agents or other members of his “advance” team are paying for the days prior to his visit.
Robert Weissman, president of the liberal watchdog group Public Citizen, said the hike in room rates illustrates Trump’s continued use of his office to enrich himself.
“What better way to defend yourself in an impeachment trial over abuse of power than to jet to your private golf resort on the public dime, secure lots of publicity for the club on the public dime, and then, possibly, rip off taxpayers by forcing them to pay extra for the staff whose costs at the resort are billed to ‘we the people,’” Weissman said.
The RNC is expected to pay $500,000 for staff hotel rooms, meeting rooms, and catering for its three-day gathering, as well as the $1,000 or more each of the 168 individual RNC members is paying out of pocket to attend.
“Not only is the president personally profiting from his office by the increased political patronage of his business, the business raises rates when he does so he’ll profit even more,” said Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics’ Jordan Libowitz. “What we’re seeing is a blending of Trump’s political career and his business, which is certainly not something you want to see from the president of the United States.”