NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s private company arranged for the Secret Service to charge rooms at his properties above government-approved rates at least 40 times during his presidency, including two charges of more than $1,100 a night, according to documents released Monday by congress committee.
The Secret Service was charged more than $800 a night at least 11 times when agents stayed at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC, and other properties, the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee said. It is noted that Trump made over 500 trips to his properties while he was president.
The “excessive” rates point to possible “taxpayer-funded windfalls for former President Trump’s struggling businesses,” New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney wrote in a letter Monday to the Secret Service seeking more information.
The Trump Organization has denied that Secret Service costs were a problem and said it provided rooms and other services at cost, at deep discounts or for free.
“The Trump family is probably the first family in American history not to profit from the United States government,” Eric Trump said in a statement. He added: “President Trump funded the vast majority of his campaign with hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money and turned down billions of dollars in real estate deals around the world.”
In total, the Trump Organization billed 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 to be higher because the commission only received records up to September 2021 and payments for overseas travel were not included.
The former president has been repeatedly criticized by Democrats and government watchdogs for what they say were brazen attempts to make money from taxpayers during his presidency.
In addition to the money from the Secret Service when he and his family frequented his clubs and hotels, Trump hosted foreign officials at his properties, requiring accommodations for accompanying agents. The president tried to arrange for his Trump National Doral Golf Club in Florida to be chosen as the venue for a meeting of the Group of Seven global leaders, only to pull out after an outcry over self-service.
Among the documents released on Monday was an account related to the travel of Trump’s eldest son, Don Jr. 2017 at the Trump International Hotel down the street from the White House. That resulted in a Secret Service room charge of $1,185 a night, more than five times the government-approved per diem rate, the committee said, although the agency is allowed to make exceptions.