Trump charged Secret Service ‘exorbitant’ hotel rates, records show

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Former President Donald Trump’s company charged the Secret Service as much as five times the government rate for agents to stay at Trump hotels while protecting him and his family, according to expense records recently obtained by Congress.

The records show that in 40 cases, the Trump Organization billed the Secret Service far more than the approved government rate — in one case, agents charged $1,185 per night to stay at the Trump International Hotel in DC. The new billing documents, according to a congressional committee review, show that US taxpayers paid the president’s company at least $1.4 million for Secret Service agents to stay at Trump properties for his and his family’s protection.

“The exorbitant fees charged by the Secret Service and agents’ frequent stays at Trump-owned properties raise significant concerns about the former president’s self-dealing and may have resulted in a taxpayer-funded windfall for former President Trump’s struggling businesses,” Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.) wrote to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle.

The records contradict the repeated claim made by Eric Trump, the president’s son and the Trump Organization’s vice president, that the family’s firm often gave Secret Service agents the hotel rooms “at cost” or sometimes for free, giving deep discounts to the security team to stay at Trump- properties.

Neither the Secret Service nor the Trump Organization immediately responded to messages from The Washington Post about the new congressional report.

While the documents do not cover all Secret Service spending at Trump properties during his presidency and reflect only a fraction of that spending since he left office, they offer a more detailed financial accounting than previously known of what taxpayers paid for Trump’s frequent choices to live on his properties. Trump visited his properties more than 500 times during his presidency.

Documents obtained in February 2020 under the Freedom of Information Act revealed the rates the Secret Service paid at then-President Donald Trump’s properties. (Video: Zach Purser Brown/The Washington Post)

Maloney, chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, obtained the records as part of his investigation into how Trump may have profited from the duty of his security agents to follow him wherever he traveled. She wrote a letter to Cheatle on Monday demanding a full accounting of what taxpayers have paid — and continue to pay — the Trump Organization.

“Given the long-standing concerns surrounding the former president’s conflicts of interest and efforts to profit from the presidency, the committee has a strong interest in obtaining a full accounting of federal government spending at Trump properties,” Maloney wrote. “The committee continues to examine potential legislation to prevent presidential self-dealing and profiteering, as well as to curb conflicts of interest by ensuring that future presidents are prevented from exercising undue influence over Secret Service spending.”

In 2019, Eric Trump said the Trump Organization saved the Secret Service agents — and the taxpayers who footed the bill — huge sums of money.

“If my dad travels, they stay at our properties for free,” he said. “So everywhere he goes, if he stays at one of his places, the government actually spends, which means it saves a fortune, because if they were going to a hotel across the street, they would charge them $500 per . night while , you know we charge them like $50.”

In 2020, Eric Trump reiterated that the Trump Organization gave these public employees — and ultimately taxpayers — discounted rates.

“We provide the rooms at cost and could make far more money renting them to members or guests,” he said.

But the reality was different, the records reveal. During Trump’s presidency, Secret Service supervisors often asked for special waivers to let the agency pay far more than the government-approved nightly rate for a hotel in DC — usually $195 to $240. Instead, they paid the higher costs charged by the Trump Organization.

In April 2017, when Eric Trump and his wife, Lara, stayed at the Trump International Hotel in D.C., the president’s company charged Secret Service agents $1,160 — more than four times the government rate at the time — the records show.

In November 2017, when Donald Trump, Jr. stayed at the same hotel, the government was charged $1,185 per night. Location.

Maloney emphasized that the Secret Service continues to pay the Trump Organization while protecting Trump since he left office, and she is concerned by reports of exorbitant fees the agency charges for the former president’s travel. Her committee obtained records spanning his four-year presidency and continuing from President Biden’s inauguration to September 2021.

Maloney noted in her letter to the Secret Service director that records turned over to her committee do not include the agency’s payments for a series of visits to Trump’s private club at Mar-a-Lago; some visits to his property in Bedminster, NJ; and for stays at Trump properties outside the United States during frequent foreign trips by Trump and his family.

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