Trump charged Secret Service ‘exorbitant’ hotel prices, records show


Former President Donald Trump’s company charged the Secret Service as much as five times what the administration paid for agents to spend the night at Trump’s hotel while protecting him and his family, according to newly obtained fee records for Congress.

Records show that in 40 cases, the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service far more than the approved government rate — in one case it charged agents $1,185 a night to live in Trump’s Washington, D.C. Pu International Hotel. U.S. taxpayers paid at least $1.4 million to the president’s corporations for Secret Service agents to stay on Trump’s property to protect him and his family, the review showed.

“The high fees charged to the Secret Service and the frequent presence of agents at Trump-owned properties have raised serious concerns about the ex-president’s self-dealing and could lead to unexpected taxpayer-funded businesses for ex-president Trump’s troubled businesses. money,” the Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.) wrote to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle.

The records contradict repeated claims by the president’s son and Trump Organization executive vice president, Eric Trump, that the family’s companies often provide Secret Service agents with hotel rooms “at cost,” or sometimes for free, Thus offering security teams deep discounts to stay on Trump properties.

Eric Trump takes issue with Trump Organization profiting from Secret Service property left at his home.

“Any services provided to the U.S. Secret Service or other government agencies on Trump-owned properties are provided at their request, either at cost, at a substantial discount, or at no cost,” he said in a statement. “Companies would be a lot better off selling their hotel services to fully paying guests, however, companies do everything they can to facilitate these establishments to ensure they can do their jobs at the highest level.”

While the documents don’t cover all of the Secret Service’s expenses during Trump’s presidency, and reflect only a fraction of those expenses since he left office, they provide more information than previously known taxpayers paid for Trump’s frequent choice to stay in office More detailed financial accounting of expenses. his attributes. Trump visited his properties more than 500 times during his presidency.

Documents obtained in February 2020 under the Freedom of Information Act show rates paid by the Secret Service on the property of then-President Donald Trump. (Video: Zach Purser Brown/The Washington Post)

Maloney, who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, obtained the records as part of her investigation into how Trump may have profited from the duty of his security agents to stalk him wherever he goes. She wrote a letter to Cheatle on Monday asking for a full accounting of what taxpayers have paid and continue to pay to the Trump Organization.

“Given longstanding concerns surrounding the former president’s conflicts of interest and efforts to profit from the presidency, the committee is very interested in obtaining a full accounting of federal spending on Trump property,” Maloney wrote. “The committee continues to review potential legislation to prevent presidents from self-dealing and profiteering, and to deter conflicts of interest by ensuring that future presidents are prevented from undue influence over Secret Service spending.”

Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said the agency was aware of Maloney’s request for a more complete account.

“We received the letter, we are reviewing it, and our goal is to get back to the committee by their deadline,” he said. “While we do not comment on any conservation actions, agents must contact them within 24 hours. Contact with their protected person. One day.”

In 2019, Eric Trump said the Trump Organization was saving Secret Service agents — and taxpayers paying the bills — huge sums of money.

“If my dad traveled, they would stay in our house for free,” he said. “So wherever he goes, if he lives in one of his places, the government actually spends money, which means it saves a lot of money because if they go to a hotel across the street, they’re going to charge them every $500 late fee, and, you know, we charge them like $50.”

In 2020, Eric Trump reiterated that the Trump Organization is offering these public servants — and ultimately taxpayers — a discounted rate.

“We offer rooms at cost and rent them out to members or guests to make more money,” he said.

But records show that the reality is different. During Trump’s presidency, Secret Service directors have frequently asked for special waivers that let the agency pay far more than the government-approved nightly rates for Washington hotels — typically $195 to $240. Instead, they paid the higher costs charged by the Trump Organization.

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Records show that in April 2017, when Eric Trump and his wife Laura were staying at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the president’s company charged Secret Service agents $1,160 — the then-government More than four times the charge.

When Donald Trump, Jr. stayed at the same hotel in November 2017, the government charged him $1,185 a night because his security guards stayed at the hotel overnight to protect him— — almost six times the government charge, depending on time and place.

Maloney stressed that the Secret Service has continued to make payments to the Trump Organization while protecting Trump since leaving office, and she was concerned by reports that the agency overcharged the former president’s travels. Her committee has a record for the four-year presidency from Biden’s inauguration to September 2021.

In her letter to the Secret Service director, Maloney noted that the committee’s records submitted to her did not include the agency’s payment for visits to Trump’s series of private clubs at Mar-a-Lago; a tour of his Bay, N.J. Deminster properties; and Trump properties that remained outside the U.S. during Trump and his family’s frequent trips abroad.

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