This Trump Whim Cost Taxpayers A Quarter Million Dollars
In November 2019 then President Donald Trump decided at the last minute that he wanted to attend a mixed martial arts fight at Madison Square Garden in New York City. That whim ended up costing U.S. taxpayers more than $250,000 as the Secret Service scrambled to make security arrangements and find hotel rooms during a particularly busy weekend in Manhattan.
Federal records obtained by The New York Daily News in response to a Freedom of Information Act request show that Trump only gave Secret Service one week’s notice of his desire to be ringside for the Jorge Masvidal-Nate Diaz Ultimate Fighting Championship event Nov. 2, 2019. Dozens of agents had to be put in pricey hotel rooms scattered through the city, a prospect made all the more expensive because it was the same weekend at the New York City Marathon.
For Trump’s one-night stay, Secret Service accommodations amounted to $224,212, the records show, with agents crashing at ritzy hotels like the Royalton on Park Ave. and the Intercontinental on 48th St. The single largest lodging expense was $44,402 for rooms at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, according to the records.
Internal Secret Service email correspondence shows that many hotel reservations were made at the last minute. “Things could change some. I don”t have any information about hotels yet,” a Secret Service sergeant wrote to colleagues on Oct. 30, 2019. That was just three days before Trump’s arrival.
Taxpayers also had to foot the bill for another $22,005.51 that was spent on travel expenses for agents to get back and forth to the city for Trump’s visit, according to the receipts.
The records show Secret Service dished out an additional $6,350 on “tents” to set up near Trump Tower, where the twice-impeached former president stayed the night of the fight.
The grand total Secret Service tab for Trump’s trip was $252,567.51, according to the records. However, the records are heavily redacted, meaning the actual price tag may be even higher.