Report: Trump’s Company Has Received $970K In Taxpayer Money For Room Rentals
A Washington Post analysis from May shows that taxpayers have paid the equivalent of more than four years’ worth of nightly room rentals at President Trump’s properties — at least $970,000 — largely to cover staffers and Secret Service agents accompanying the president.
- Federal records obtained by The Post show that taxpayers have paid for as many as 1,600 nightly room rentals since Trump took office.
- The newspaper recorded $340,000 in such payments since March, which were nearly “all related to trips taken by Trump, his family and his top officials.”
- Those taxpayer-funded payments covered charges incurred by staffers and Secret Service agents accompanying the president.
The records show that taxpayers have now paid for the equivalent of more than four years’ worth of nightly rentals at Trump properties, including 950 nights at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and 530 nights at the president’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, according to a Post analysis.
The Post noted that the president’s son, Eric Trump — who helps run the company’s day-to-day operations while his father is in office — has said previously that government officials are charged “like 50 bucks” when they visit Trump properties.
- However, The Post found $141.66 per night to be the lowest rate charged, incurred at the president’s cottage in Bedminster, while the highest appeared to be $650 per night for rooms at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.
- The Post’s request for an example of when the government had been charged a rate as low as Eric Trump’s claim went unanswered by the Trump Organization.
- Both the Trump Organization and the Trump administration have failed to provide a “full accounting of how much taxpayer money has been paid to Trump’s companies since Inauguration Day 2017.”
The Post has attempted to compile its own accounting, using hundreds of pages of federal spending documents obtained from public-records requests. In recent weeks, The Post added new data on spending by the Defense and State departments, and newly released data on spending by the Secret Service in 2019 and 2020.
Though the data is not complete, The Post noted that Trump “has received an unprecedented amount of payments from his own government. And while as president he is exempt from conflict-of-interest rules barring other federal employees from directing government business to their personal companies, Trump’s behavior is still problematic, according to ethics watchdogs.
“It’s not just that there’s a huge amount of money being spent: we have no idea how much the actual figure is,” because the records are released slowly and piecemeal, said Jordan Libowitz, of the nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “We don’t know what’s happening . . . only that the taxpayers are footing the bill for it.”
Trump is both the buyer and the seller, The Post noted.
“This is the perfect transaction” for someone who wanted to exploit it, said Don Fox, who was acting head of the Office of Government Ethics from 2011 to 2013. “You get to not only set the price: you get to ensure that the buyer pays that price, no matter what it is.”