The Secret Service has to go with Donald Trump wherever he goes. So, how does he reward them? He shows his appreciation by charging them three dollars for a glass of water. Nice, hunh? Exactly how does POTUS bilk the nation?
Investigative reporters at The Washington Post newspaper compiled information about what Trump has been doing:
‘Since 2017, Trump’s company has charged taxpayers for hotel rooms, ballrooms, cottages, rental houses, golf carts, votive candles, floating candles, candelabras, furniture moving, resort fees, decorative palm trees, strip steak, chocolate cake, breakfast buffets, $88 bottles of wine and $1,000 worth of liquor for White House aides. And water.’
Why even go to Mar-a-Lago? A “towering arrangement of roses [was] to welcome the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Trump claimed his resort was “more comfortable” than Washington:
”It is, indeed, the Southern White House.’
Trump’s club even charged for the smallest of services. When Trump and Abe met alone, with no food served, the government still got a bill for what they drank:
‘Bilateral meeting. Water. $3 each.’
Trump told reporters it was a matter of “comfort:”
‘People like my product, what can I tell you, can’t help it.’
‘If I win, I may never see my property — I may never see these places again. Because I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go play golf. Believe me.’
- ‘Trump ripped off a minimum of $8.1 million since he took office.
- Trump’s Palm Beach, FL club billed the U.S. government $13,700 for guest rooms, $16,500 for food and wine, and $6,000 for the roses and other floral arrangements.
- He’s visited his hotels and clubs 280-plus times.
- He converted Mar-a-Lago into a GOP magnet for “glitzy fundraisers for his own reelection campaign” events:
‘Trump’s campaign and fundraising committee paid $5.6 million to his companies since his inauguration in January 2017.’
- ‘A check from the State Department to Mar-a-Lago showed payments for catering and flower arrangements during Abe’s visit and for his Secret Service agents, and Trump’s staff.
- While Trump was publicly donating his $400,000 annual presidential salary, he was privately using his power to bring his businesses far more than that.
- According to federal policy, Trump’s aide could pay a maximum of $182 for a room at Mar-a-Lago, according to the GSA. But Mar-a-Lago was not charging $182.
- Federal rules allowed them to pay up to three times the normal limit — $546, in this case — with authorization. Guess who authorized it?
- The Mar-a-Lago lowered the rate it charged the State Department to “$396.15 per night and provided partial refunds for some of the earlier charges above that.’
Ryan Shapiro belongs to the Property of the People organization and whose “lawsuits and public records helped bring some of the earliest details of this spending to light:”
‘Americans elect a president to serve the people, not profit off them. Yet President Trump exploits his office to line his pockets with taxpayer dollars.’
‘The amounts we’re seeing are just the tip of the iceberg.’
State Department employee Michael Dobbs wrote his colleagues, in an email later released to the public:
‘[There’s] a five bedroom house that three of the senior staff are staying in at $2,600 per night. The two other Senior staffers (Bannon and Walsh) are expected to be charged $546 for their rooms.’
An anonymous former official said:
‘It’s a hell of a lot easier to do it at the White House, which is set up for. It’s a pain in the [posterior] having those guys down there for the staff.’
The State Department and the White House refused to release their records.
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order