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Trump company charged Secret Service ‘exorbitant’ rates at his hotels, documents suggest

<img src='https://i.cbc.ca/1.6619492.1666037930!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_460/trump-fbi.jpg' alt='Trump FBI' width='460' title='This photo shows an aerial view of former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022. The Justice Department says classified documents were "likely concealed and removed" from former President Donald Trump's Florida estate as part of an effort to obstruct the federal investigation into the discovery of the government records. ' height='259' /> <p>Donald Trump's private company arranged for the Secret Service to pay for rooms at his properties in excess of government-approved rates at least 40 times during his presidency, including two charges for more than $1,100 US per night, according to documents released Monday by a congressional committee.</p>

Donald Trump’s private company arranged for the Secret Service to pay for rooms at his properties in excess of government-approved rates at least 40 times during his presidency, including two charges for more than $1,100 US per night, according to documents released Monday by a congressional committee.

The Secret Service was charged room rates of more than $800 US per night at least 11 times when agents stayed at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, the Trump hotel in Washington, D.C., and other properties, the Democratic-led House Oversight Committee said. It noted that Trump made more than 500 trips to his properties while president.

The “exorbitant” rates point to a possible “taxpayer-funded windfall for former President Trump’s struggling businesses,” wrote N.Y. Rep. Carolyn Maloney in a letter Monday to the Secret Service requesting more information.

The Secret Service said it had received the letter and was reviewing it.

The Trump Organization denied that the Secret Service charges were a problem and said it provided rooms and other services at cost, at big discounts or for free.

“The Trump Family is likely the first family in American history to have not profited off of the United States government,” said Eric Trump in a statement. He added, “President Trump funded the vast majority of his campaign with hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money and turned away billions of dollars in real estate deals worldwide.”

The torso of a security officer is seen with a Secret Service badge visible.
The Trump Organization denied that the Secret Service charges were a problem and said it provided rooms and other services at cost, at big discounts or for free. (Julia Nikhinson/The Associated Press)

In total, the Trump Organization charged the agency responsible for protecting the president and his family at least $1.4 million US, according to Secret Service records released by the committee.

It said the total bill was likely higher because the panel only got records through September 2021 and payments for trips abroad were not included.

The former president has been repeatedly criticized by Democrats and government watchdogs for what they say were brazen attempts to make money from taxpayers during his presidency.

Among the documents released Monday was a bill tied to a 2017 trip by Trump’s oldest son, Don Jr., to the Trump International Hotel down the street from the White House.

That resulted in a Secret Service room charge of $1,185 US per night, more than five times the government-approved per diem rate, the committee said, though the agency is allowed to make exceptions.

cbc


Newzcap Staff