Trump Organization chief Eric Trump claimed that the taxpayers aren't footing the bill for the exorbitant costs for the Secret Service to stay at President Donald Trump's properties.
In a scathing editorial Sunday, the Washington Post said that no one is disputing that the president must have Secret Service protection. The problem is that the Trump family is making money off of them.
"An investigation by The Post's David A. Fahrenthold, Jonathan O'Connell, Carol D. Leonnig and Josh Dawsey found 103 payments from January 2017 to April 2018 from the Secret Service to Trump companies, totaling more than $471,000. Among the charges were $650 per night for agents to use rooms "dozens" of times in 2017 at Mr. Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida and $17,000 a month to rent a three-bedroom cottage at Trump National Golf Club Bedminister in New Jersey for three months in 2017," the editorial recalled.
It's unknown just how much it's costing because Secret Service financial documents are not listed in public databases as with other government entities. The Secret Service also hasn't filed their twice-annually report on spending to Congress that they're required to do. In fact, since Trump took office, the Secret Service has refused to file at least five of the reports since the Secret Service began protecting Trump in 2016.
The public, they argued, has a right to know.
"It shouldn't have to be ferreted out," said The Post. "That would be the case even if the Trump Organization weren't involved. But the fact that Mr. Trump stands to profit — unlike previous presidents who neither held on to for-profit businesses nor charged the Secret Service to use their properties — it is even more important that the information not be hidden."
They went on to call it "ridiculous" that no one will give any answers for how much agents are charged, how much they've spent and what the American taxpayer is paying for while agents are hanging out in the Mar-a-Lago clubhouse.
"Witness the assurance last year from Mr. Trump's son Eric that 'If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free — meaning, like, cost for housekeeping,'" The Post recalled. "Housekeeper wages at Mar-a-Lago, according to a tweet from Mr. Fahrenthold, start at $11.13 an hour. Good then that the House Oversight Committee last week asked the Secret Service to provide a full accounting of its payments to Trump properties."
Trump has claimed that he is forking over his salary to charities and causes, but how much he's making off of his position is certainly larger than his salary. Mar-a-Lago alone, doubled its fee after Trump won the White House.
"Mr. Trump would like Americans to think that being president has cost him money, boasting how he has forgone his salary by donating it back to the government. At $650 a pop for a room and a captive audience, he can well afford to do so," the closed.