When Eric Trump stayed at Trump Hotels, Secret Service paid above government rate limits
During the first year of Trump’s presidency, the Secret Service received permission to stay at the Trump Hotel in DC at least eight times to protect Eric and Lara Trump, even though the cost exceeded government-approved room rates, according to new documents obtained by CREW. The documents include multiple requests for the Secret Service to pay higher rates for hotel rooms at Trump properties and approval from managers.
The justifications for the request to exceed allowed amounts include hotel rooms in the area being limited due to conferences, a specific request to stay in the Trump Hotel (with no indication that that this was needed for security reasons), and the Trump Hotel being “in a ‘sold out’ status and the per diem rate could not be offered.”
Because information about the number of rooms for each trip and rates are redacted, and the accompanying expenses include little identifying information, it is difficult to calculate how much taxpayer money went to the Trump Hotel for these trips, and how much it exceeded normal government-approved rates (which ranged from $172-242 in the DC region during FY 2017). However, charges at the Trump International Hotel corresponding or close to the dates for the approved trips total over $38,000—and could be far more. One thing we do know is that while Eric Trump infamously claimed that the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service “like $50” when traveling to protect the president, on many occasions Trump properties charged the Secret Service above typical rates, including for Eric Trump’s own travel.
The documents obtained by CREW include several other approvals to exceed government-set rates for Trump and other protectees—often with trip dates redacted—but include only a handful after 2018. It seems unlikely that a habit of exceeding government approved limits ended abruptly—instead, we may have barely scratched the surface of the extent of the taxpayer dollars spent to enable the Trump family to stay at the properties they own and profit from, while forcing their protective detail to exceed government-approved limits on hotel costs.
The documents also include the first publicly reported Secret Service charges for the Albemarle Estate at Trump Winery, which is owned by Eric Trump. The charges total $2994, adding to the running total of thousands of taxpayer dollars funneled to Trump properties, potentially for expenses incurred as part of advancing Trump family business interests.
The charges don’t stop at Albemarle. In 2017 alone, the Secret Service paid Trump’s Turnberry resort thousands of dollars as a result of Eric Trump’s business trips, and CREW previously reported that the Secret Service spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars on two trips for Eric and Donald Trump Jr where they visited Trump family businesses.
Donald Trump abused the presidency and turned it into his personal cash cow. It’s now even more clear that his family did the same.