President Trump once bragged that he could be the first Presidential candidate ever to make money off his run for office. While his initial prediction didn’t come true, it turns out that his family is reaping the financial benefits of his Presidential role.
Eric Trump‘s January visit to a Uruguay coastal resort totaled $88,320. The U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay, paid an additional $9,510 for its staff to stay in hotel rooms to “support” the Secret Service detail for the “VIP visit,” according to The Washington Post.
While Donald Trump promised to keep his family’s interests separate from his own, that is clearly not happening.
Money for the trip was directed from the State Department who declined to comment and referred reporters to the White House and back to the Secret Service, who also declined to comment.
“The Secret Service does not have an option as to when it is, where it is, nor as to how much it costs, and whether it’s domestic or international,” said W. Ralph Basham, former director of the service. “Think about the consequences of something happening to one of the children. The security of it outweighs the expenses of it.”
The Trumps do not own the 26-story tower Punta del Este project where Eric Trump spoke, but they did license their name to the company that built the resort at a cost estimated between $100,000 and $1 million. The tower is still under construction with a cost of $550,000 to $8 million per unit. The project is expected to be finished in 2018.
“There is a public benefit to providing Secret Service protection,” Clark said. “But what was the public benefit from State Department personnel participating in this private business trip to the coastal town? It raises the specter of the use of public resources for private gain.”
It should be noted that immediate family members of the first family are always provided with a Secret Service detail. What is shocking is the sticker price Eric Trump has placed on his personal money-making business trips. While the Secret Service detail is required, passing the buck for personal business trips is unacceptable.
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