Ex-President Donald Trump treated federal resources like benefits left almost just for him. Throughout his presidency, his repeated trips to his own properties cost the government huge sums of cash — some of which went right into the then-president’s own business, from which he never financially disconnected himself while in office. Overall, as of October 2020, Trump’s business had garnered at least $2.5 million in payments from the federal government, as reported by The Washington Post, and reporter David Farenthold has now unveiled yet another charge to the government from Trump’s business.
The ex-president was making money off the government while fighting against the presidential election outcome in the months following Election Day. For a trip to his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida around Christmas, Trump’s business charged the Secret Service another $15,846 in government cash. Although the total is small compared to the amount of money that the government works with and the overall profit margins at Trump’s business, the payments add up — big time.
New documents show that — while Trump was trying to overturn the election in December— he was still charging the Secret Service $396.15 a night for their hotel rooms at Mar-a-Lago.
By spending 8 nights at the club over Xmas, Trump brought himself another $15,846 from taxpayers. pic.twitter.com/NyaD51OW4x
— David Fahrenthold (@Fahrenthold) April 5, 2021
The federal government wasn’t the only source of politically oriented financial support for Trump. As of October of last year, “Trump’s campaign and fundraising committee [had] paid $5.6 million to his companies since his inauguration in January 2017,” the Post explains, thereby “turning campaign donations into private revenue.” On a similar note, Trump continued fundraising well after losing the election, using the pretense of his fight against the election outcome to rake in cash — but most of the money didn’t go to any court battles. It went to Trump’s political accounts.
Some of these campaign donations, The New York Times has since revealed, were the product of a scam. The Trump campaign used pre-checked boxes on its fundraising forms that set up recurring donations beyond the donor’s initially intended support, and an October iteration of the box featured nine lines of bold text before getting to the part explaining what the box would actually do if left checked. Fraud claims associated with recurring charges from the Trump campaign soared, and the Trump campaign ended up refunding tens of millions of dollars.