Trump’s bills to Secret Service ‘exorbitant’

By Bernard Condon | Associated Press

NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s private enterprise caused the Secret Service to pay more than the government-approved rates for rooms in his properties at least 40 times during his presidency, including two charges of more than $1,100 per room per night, according to data released Documents emerge released Monday by a congressional committee.

The Secret Service was billed at least 11 times for room rates in excess of $800 per night when agents stayed at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., and other properties, the official said the Democrat-led House Oversight Committee. It noted that Trump made over 500 trips to his properties during his presidency.

The “exorbitant” interest rates point to a possible “taxpayer-funded windfall for former President Trump’s struggling deals,” the committee’s chair, Carolyn Maloney of New York, wrote Monday in a letter to the Secret Service asking for more information asked.

Intelligence said it had received the letter and was examining it.

The Trump Organization denied that Secret Service fees were an issue, saying it provides rooms and other services at cost, with deep discounts, or for free.

“The Trump family is probably the first family in American history not to have benefited from the United States government,” Eric Trump said in a statement. He added, “President Trump funded most of his campaign with hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money and turned away billions of dollars in real estate deals worldwide.”

In all, the Trump Organization charged the agency responsible for protecting the president and his family at least $1.4 million, according to Secret Service records released by the committee. The committee said the total bill was likely higher because the panel only received records up to September 2021 and payments for foreign travel were not included.

The former president has been repeatedly criticized by Democrats and government watchdogs for allegedly brazen attempts to monetize taxpayers’ money during his presidency.

In addition to receiving Secret Service money when he and his family visited his clubs and hotels, Trump hosted foreign officials on his properties and also required housing for accompanying agents. The president attempted to arrange for his Trump National Doral Golf Club in Florida to be chosen to host a Group of Seven meeting of global leaders, only to back out after an outcry over self-negotiation.

Among the documents released Monday was a bill related to Trump’s eldest son Don Jr.’s 2017 trip to the Trump International Hotel near the White House. That resulted in a Secret Service room rate of $1,185 per night, more than five times the government-approved daily rate, the committee said, although the agency is allowed to make exceptions. Trump’s bills to Secret Service ‘exorbitant’

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