Trump Organization Exposed Diverting $1.18 Million Through Gov’t Agency

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Since Donald Trump took office as president, the Trump Organization has charged the Secret Service over $1.1 million, according to a running tally maintained by The Washington Post. That money, of course, comes from taxpayers, and in light of struggles to secure adequate financial support for interests like small businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic, the fact that over $1 million in government money has gone to the president’s own business seems particularly appalling. In a new report, the Post reveals $188,000 in additional and previously unknown charges that the Trump Organization has billed the government for.

Some of this money was billed for the rental of space at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, while that club was closed to the public. The president himself did not visit the club during this time period, but the president’s daughter Ivanka and her family did. They observed the Jewish holiday of Passover on the premises, which was during the period that the Trump Organization billed the federal government for.

The mid-closure rental charges, which totaled more than $21,800, might not have been specifically because of protecting that group of First Family members, however. The Secret Service has routinely rented space at Trump properties when none of the president’s family members were actually on the premises. They wanted to be prepared in case Trump decided to visit one of his golf courses on short notice, as an official explained anonymously to the Post.

The publication explains that the Secret Service has “paid rent in Bedminster for more than 200 days when Trump was not there.” Secret Service rentals at Bedminster in 2019 went from May through the end of October; the Trump Organization charges the agency $17,000 a month, which works out to $567 per night, for a three-bedroom cottage on the premises. The Post called the rate “unusually high for a rental home in the area, according to an analysis of local real estate listings.”

In 2019, Eric Trump — the president’s son who’s helping run the family business in his father’s absence — claimed that the Trump Organization charged the government “like 50 bucks” per room, but by all appearances, this claim was a lie. The Post reported that they had not found a single piece of evidence supporting Eric’s claimed government rental rate. President Trump, for his part, is making money off these arrangements, because he has not financially divested himself from his business while in office.