Trump’s Mar-a-Lago charged taxpayers thousands for Secret Service to stay in his rooms over Christmasavril 6, 2021
Even as former president Donald Trump was trying to overturn the results of the presidential election in December last year, he still managed to rake in $15,846 from the US exchequer during a Christmas holiday at his Palm Beach resort.
The president’s Mar-a-Lago resort charged the Secret Service $396 a night during his eight-day long trip to Florida, reported the Washington Post. The room costs are more than the limit of $205 a night under federal rules, which the White House can override.
The new figures add to a body of evidence showing Mr Trump repeatedly picked his own properties as the beneficiaries of federal events and spending.
According to an analysis by the Huffington Post, that Christmas trip was the 31st golf vacation Mr Trump took to Mar-a-Lago during his single-term presidency, raising his financial gain from taxpayers to $151.5m.
Each of Mr Trump’s tax-payer funded trips to Mar-a-Lago amounted to roughly $3.4m. The expenses included the resources needed in flying him, his staff and the vehicles needed for his motorcade on Air Force One and a number of cargo planes. A chunk of it was also allocated to the Coast Guard who would patrol both the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean adjacent to his for-profit resort.
The expenditure on his retreats was equivalent to 379 years of presidential salary, which Mr Trump often boasting that he gave up. The HuffPost report said that the expenditure on Mr Trump’s hobbies could have been avoided had he followed in the footsteps of his predecessor Barack Obama and chosen to play golf on military bases close to the White House.
Trump properties made millions from such presidential retreats. As of October 2020, his properties received $2.5m in payments from the US government for events including hosting government functionaries and foreign visitors, according to documents obtained by the Washington Post.
Additionally, the Trump campaign and fundraising committee paid $5.6m to his companies in the same period, as Trump properties became the default options for hosting GOP events.