Defense Dept staffers spent nearly $140K at Trump properties: report

Defense Dept staffers spent nearly $140K at Trump properties: report
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Staffers at the Department of Defense charged more than $138,000 on department-issued cards at President TrumpDonald John TrumpScarborough mocks 'Deflection Don' over transgender troop ban Pelosi condemns Trump's 'cowardly, disgusting' ban on transgender troops Trump moves to ban most transgender people from serving in military MORE’s properties during the first eight months of the Trump administration, CNN reported Wednesday.

The employees placed the charges at Trump-branded properties on department-issued Visa cards. 

CNN found that the spending often lines up with Trump’s own stays to the properties. The president travels with military personnel.


CNN reviewed department spending records obtained by the nonprofit group Property of the People. The organization sued the department for the records through the Freedom of Information Act.

More than a third of that money was spent on lodging and food at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Those charges largely line up with the 25 days Trump spent at the club from February to April, according to CNN.

And roughly $9,600 was spent at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club around the time of the president’s trip there in May.

However, other spending deviates from Trump’s trips.

CNN found that 113 charges were placed at the Trump International Las Vegas Hotel for a total of $35,652.44.

More than $17,000 was also charged at a then-Trump branded property in Panama City. The president’s name was removed from the hotel earlier this month after a dispute between the Trump Organization and the hotel owners.

Department of Defense spokesman Thomas Crosson told CNN that the records viewed by the network represent all charges by the department at Trump properties during that time period.

He also said government spending limits at hotels can be waived if personnel need to stay there to support the president.

The charges raise questions about whether Trump properties are benefitting from Trump’s presidency.

The Trump Organization is being run by Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump's legal team considering possible conflicts of interest for diGenova: report Bannon: If Kelly leaves White House, Trump won't replace him Trump says he has 'tremendous support' on college campuses MORE, while their father is in office. Ethics experts had urged Trump to completely give up the business, but he declined to do so.