Even though the supposedly “really rich” Donald Trump didn’t have to, Trump and his properties charged the U.S. government more than $2.5 million for accommodations for his Secret Service protectors during his four years in office. Today we’re learning how much more that grift continues to cost taxpayers.
The twice-impeached former president’s company charged the Secret Service nearly $10,200 for guest rooms at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club used by his protective detail in May according to spending records obtained by The Washington Post. Trump relocated in early May to the New Jersey property to escape the brutal summer heat at his Mar-a-Lago private resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
Records released by the Secret Service indicate it is paying $566.64 per night for a four-bedroom “cottage” in Bedminster, space it uses as a kind of command post. It’s also been revealed that the Secret Service is spending $8,500 a month to rent portable toilets at the Bedminster property, although why they would be needed has never been explained.
From January through early May Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club charged the Secret Service more than $40,000 to rent a room near Trump. Together with the Bedminster charges, that puts Trump’s take from taxpayers since he left office at more than $50,000. That’s on top of the salaries and other expenses incurred by the Secret Service in connection with guarding him.
Jeffrey Engel, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University, said of Trump’s practice of charging rent to the agency that protects his life, “It’s tacky. Just because you can make a buck doesn’t mean you should make a buck. Especially when you’re an ex-president. You’e not going to starve.”