President Donald Trump has often been criticized for spending most of his time at his properties in Palm Beach, Florida, and Bedminster, New Jersey, instead of the White House. It's now been revealed that Trump's trips to his luxury homes are placing a major financial burden on the Secret Service.
The Washington Post conducted an investigation that tracked the number of tax dollars spent at Trump's homes. Through its investigation, the Post found out that Secret Service personnel pay as much as $650 per night for lodging at the Trump hotels when the president is out of town. That number adds up. In the first year alone, the Secret Service spent $159,000 to stay at Trump's Washington, D.C. hotel. For the out of state properties, Trump is charging as much as $17,000 a month for rent.
During an October 2019 interview with Yahoo, the executive vice president of The Trump Organization, Eric Trump, claims that his father's travels actually save the government money because he gives them a discounted rate to stay at his hotels.
"If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free," Trump said. "So everywhere that he goes, if he stays at one of his places, the government actually spends, meaning it saves a fortune because if they were to go to a hotel across the street, they’d be charging them $500 a night, whereas, you know we charge them, like $50."
However, the Post found out that Trump is actually overcharging the Secret Service to protect him. After a search of rental properties in the area close to his out of state residences, the Post noticed that the average cost for renting a house close to the President is $3,400. This is far less than the near $17,000 the president charges. The Post was also told by Trump that his company is legally obligated to charge the Secret Service a fee, but it was not able to find the law stating this.