June 24, 2024

U.S. taxpayers paid over $40K for Secret Service stay at Mar-a-Lago at Trump’s insistence

Donald Trump is charging the Secret Service a pretty penny to protect him while staying at his Mar-a-Lago Club.

According to documents, the former president charged his protectors $40,011.15 between the day he left the White House until around April 30. The charge ultimately lands on taxpayers and is unusual for a president to do, per The Washington Post.

“It’s tacky,” said the director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University, Jeffrey A. Engel. “Just because you can make a buck doesn’t mean you should make a buck. And especially when you have a situation where you’re an ex-president. You’re not going to starve.”

Records show that since January 20, the 45th president charged Secret Service $396.15 per night to stay at the Palm Beach, Fla., resort.

Palm Beach Town Council To Allow Former President Trump To Continue Living At Mar-a-Lago
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 10: Former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is seen on February 10, 2021 in Palm Beach, Florida. Palm Beach Town council announced there was nothing specifically that prohibited Mr. Trump from using the property as his residence after questions had been raised by others in the town if he could live there. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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Experts say the move is unprecedented, and the only other president to make a similar move is President Joe Biden. The sitting president charged Secret Service $2,200 per month to utilize a cottage on his Delaware property.

While acting as president, Trump charged the government more than $2.5 million, in order for the Secret Service to use rooms near him.

Most agents who protect Trump stay at other locations, but space at the resort is still needed for communications equipment, supervisors’ meetings, and breaks. Government employees who look to stay in Palm Beach County this spring have a $205 spending limit. However, the Secret Service is authorized to spend more if it’s for a protective mission.

When Trump was president, he also charged the Secret Service $567 per night while protecting him at the Bedminster club in New Jersey. It is unclear if the government is still being charged that amount while Trump resides there for the summer season.

Taxpayers have paid a lot of money over the years to protect the Trump family. For example, at the top of the year, theGrio reported that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner wouldn’t allow Secret Service to use their restrooms, so they had to pay to use a nearby facility.

The White House denies the claim, but sources close to the situation say the couple has made it clear that the six bathrooms in their Washington, D.C home is off-limits, per The Washington Post. At one point, service members were instructed to use a porta-potty outside their Kalorama neighborhood home.

President Trump Hosts Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony On White House South Lawn
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 15: Special adviser to the president Jared Kushner (L) and Ivanka Trump arrive to the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House September 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Witnessed by President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu signed a peace deal with the UAE and a declaration of intent to make peace with Bahrain. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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“They sort of came in with the attitude, like, ‘We are royalty,’” said Dianne Bruce, a prior neighbor of the couple. “When they put the porta-potty right outside on the sidewalk we weren’t allowed to walk on, that was when people in the neighborhood said, ‘That’s really not acceptable.’”

Besides the porta-potty, Secret Service was forced to use the restroom at various restaurants, neighbors’ homes and even invited to relieve themselves at former Vice President Mike Pence’s house. They were also offered to use a bathroom at the home of former President Barack Obama at the time.

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