Trump Kids’ Travel Makes Secret Service Agents Captive Trump Customers
Globetrotting by Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka Trump has caused at least $238,000 of taxpayer money to be paid to companies owned by Donald Trump since he assumed the presidency, according to Secret Service records obtained by The Washington Post.
Trump’s adult children are entitled to Secret Service protection wherever they go, but the records indicate that their travel throughout the United States, Canada and Europe is limited almost exclusively to properties owned by the Trump Organization. While they’re at liberty to decide where and when to travel, they also have the option of not charging the federal government for the high-priced rooms. It doesn’t appear, however, that they themselves have ever picked up the tab for the agents’ rooms.
“Morally speaking, do they want to profit [from the fact] that their father’s in the White House?” said Scott Amey, a government ethics experts with the watchdog group Project on Government Oversight. “They could very easily reimburse those expenses, so the federal government and the taxpayer are not on the hook for that tab.”
In response to previous inquiries by The Post Eric Trump has said that the Trump Organization charges only about $50 each for rooms used by the Secret Service, indicating that basically covers just the cost of housekeeping. But Trump’s company has never provided proof of that assertion. Requests for Secret Service receipts for room charges mostly are ignored or when they are provided, exact figures are redacted.
The Post, however, has pried open the books on those transactions through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and a lawsuit. What the newspaper has pieced together is staggering: at least $1.2 million of taxpayer money has flowed from the U.S. Treasury to the Trump Organization since the start of Donald Trump’s administration. Much of it is for his travel, but the three children also have been profligate in billing the Secret Service.
Ivanka and her family, for instance, accounted for more than $42,000, a lot of which came during this past spring when Americans were being urged not to travel. Between mid-March and mid-June, Secret Service records show 13 trips to the Trump Bedminster property. The average room rate charged: $630 per night, during the pandemic, when otherwise there was no demand for rental rooms.
The biggest spenders are Eric and his wife, Lara, who is an official with her father-in-law’s reelection campaign. The records obtained by The Post show that they’re responsible for $151,000 in government payments to Trump properties.
Eric has repeatedly taken Secret Service agents along on trips to promote Trump golf courses in Ireland and Scotland.
“Touchdown Scotland. @EricTrump and 32 of our members from @TrumpCharlotte have arrived at @TrumpScotland for the first day of the 2019 @TrumpGolf Ultimate Links Tour!” the Trump Organization posted on Instagram on May 16, 2019. The photo showed Eric Trump posing at Trump’s golf course in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, with visiting members from the Trump golf club outside Charlotte.