While President Donald Trump has publicly donated his presidential salary to various government agencies, new federal spending records show that American taxpayers have been on the hook for nearly $1 million in spending at his personal businesses.
The records, which only show a fraction of the administration’s overall spending at the president’s private businesses, were obtained by the Washington Post through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. According to the report, the documents show that “taxpayers have paid Trump’s businesses more than $900,000 since he took office. At least $570,000 came as a result of the president’s travel.” The Post also spoke with several current and former individuals employed by Trump’s administration or businesses.
During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly said that if elected, he was “not going to have time” to golf or visit his properties. But that promise was disregarded within a month of assuming the Oval Office. And as president, Trump’s approximately 270 trips to his own properties mean that taxpayers foot the bill not just for him, but also for the Secret Service entourage assigned to protect him.
Eric Trump said last year that Trump properties would only charge Secret Service agents “like 50 bucks” to stay at their properties, but the records do not support that assertion.
For example, the documents show that agents guarding Vice President Mike Pence at the Trump’s Las Vegas hotel were charged daily “resort fees” while agents at the president’s struggling Scotland resort had to pay $1,300 for “furniture removal.”
Post reporter David Fahrenthold said that the Trump administration has been averse to transparency when it comes to taxpayer funds spent at the president’s properties. The Department of Defense hasn’t released any records on such expenditures since records from June 2017 showed the department spending $75,000 at Trump’s Las Vegas hotel,
Additionally, the most recent Secret Service spending records date back to 2018.
White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement that Fahrenthold was “blatantly interfering” with the Trump Organization’s business relationships, saying “it must stop.” Deere also said the administration was “building up a very large ‘dossier’ on the many false David Fahrenthold and others stories as they are a disgrace to journalism and the American people.”
[image via Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images]
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