Trump’s adult children have cost taxpayers a lot of money over the years, but this time, it’s different. CREW got records from the Secret Service that show that in just the thirty days after Donald Trump left the presidency, his childrens’ travel cost taxpayers more than $140,000. That figure, however, does not include charges at Trump properties in Bedminster, Palm Beach and Briarcliff, New York, which would likely bring the actual total much higher.
The reason these charges are different is that they all occurred after Joe Biden’s inauguration, and, ordinarily, a former president’s children are no longer entitled to Secret Service protection. Donald Trump took the unusual step of extending the protection for his family members and three top appointees by six months, giving them that much more time to funnel money to his own properties. CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act request in February to get a snapshot of the costs.
An additional six months of protection was likely to be quite costly, because, as CREW previously reported, the Trump family took 12 times as many protected trips as the Obama family did per year. The new records reveal that in just thirty days, the Trump children maintained their breakneck speed of travel, and racked up significant hotel and transportation bills for the Secret Service. The transportation amounted to $52,296.75, and hotel costs totalled at least $88,678.39, according to the records.
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump went directly from their jobs at the White House to a ten day vacation in Salt Lake City with their three children, which cost $62,599.39 for hotel stays alone for their detail. From there, they went to Miami for the month of February, with a short stay at Trump’s Bedminster property from February 19-21. The Secret Service turned over no receipts for that leg of the trip, though it almost certainly funnelled taxpayer money to the Trump business.
Eric and Lara Trump spent much of the month of February in New York at the Trump Briarcliff property, with some short trips into Queens, one trip to Miami and two to Palm Beach, which cost the Secret Service at least $12,742. The Secret Service again did not turn over any spending records at Trump properties, though it seems almost certain that that’s where the Trumps were staying and where Eric was working, and therefore would have included at least some spending that went to bolster the Trump family bottom line.
Donald Trump Jr. also spent time in New York City, Long Island, and Upstate New York. He and Eric overlapped in Palm Beach. Don Jr.’s travel cost at least $13,337, and similarly does not include receipts for Trump properties.
If just one month of the Trump children’s extended Secret Service protection cost $140,000, then the full six months could cost taxpayers nearly $1 million. Unfortunately, the records appear to not even be a complete accounting of the costs, since the Secret Service did not provide records of spending at Trump businesses, which is the most controversial aspect of the extended protection. While it may be tempting to put the story of the Trump family’s profiteering in the past, we cannot until they have actually stopped directing taxpayer money into their own bank accounts. Thanks to Trump’s unusual extension of their protection, they’ve got a few more months to continue the grift.
Image by Walt Disney Television under a Creative Commons license.