President TrumpDonald TrumpCheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll We must do more to protect American Jews 6 in 10 say they would back someone other than Biden in 2024: Fox News poll MORE’s company has charged the Secret Service $628,000 in lodging fees since he took office in 2017, according to documents obtained by Public Citizen and an ongoing tally by The Washington Post.
The documents show the federal government charged the Secret Service $157,000 more than was previously known after a three-year Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request battle between Public Citizen and the Secret Service.
The receipts stem from frequent trips the president has made to his Palm Beach, Fla., estate, Mar-a-Lago, and Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.
The Post has noted that after a thorough search of rentals in the area for comparable homes, the average cost for rent was $3,400, whereas the Trump Organization has charged the government up to $17,000 per month for rent.
Trump’s son, Eric TrumpEric TrumpDonald Trump slams Jan. 6 panel after Ivanka Trump interview request: 'They'll go after children' Jan. 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to sit for interview New York AG: Investigation found evidence suggesting Trump business fraud MORE, who runs the organization, has previously stated that the government is saving money on those trips because the company does not charge them for lodging.
“If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free,” Eric Trump said in an October interview with Yahoo News. “So everywhere that he goes, if he stays at one of his places, the government actually spends, meaning it saves a fortune because if they were to go to a hotel across the street, they’d be charging them $500 a night, whereas, you know we charge them, like $50.”
However, those numbers don’t match the Post or Public Citizen’s findings. Trump told the Post that the company is legally required to charge a fee, though reporters at the newspaper were unable to find what law he was citing.
“Trump treats the presidency as a self-enrichment scheme,” said Robert Weissman, president of Public Citizen, a left-leaning organization. “Slowly, we’re beginning to learn the size of the bill to taxpayers. It should be crystal clear that this particular ploy is by no means ‘saving a fortune’ as Eric Trump preposterously claimed.”
Separately, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have requested details on Trump’s travel costs as part of negotiations over legislation regulating the Secret Service. However, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinConservatives are outraged that Sarah Bloom Raskin actually believes in capitalism Suspect in Khashoggi murder arrested The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to tackle omicron risks with new travel rules MORE has told the committee that he opposes releasing that information until December, after the general election.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.