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Trump's company paid at least $2.5M by federal government: report

Trump's company paid at least $2.5M by federal government: report
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The Trump Organization has reportedly received at least $2.5 million in taxpayer money from the federal government, most of which resulted from trips by President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE to his company properties, according to federal spending records obtained by The Washington Post

The Post reported that Trump has paid visits to Mar-a-Lago in Florida, his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and his resorts in Scotland and Ireland a total of more than 280 times since taking office in 2017, resulting in millions of dollars in charges. 

The report comes as part of a larger investigation into how Trump’s businesses have financially benefited from his presidency, despite the president’s promise during his 2016 campaign that he would “completely isolate” himself from his business once in the White House. 

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“If I win, I may never see my property — I may never see these places again,” Trump said on the campaign trail in 2016. “Because I’m going to be working for you, I’m not going to have time to go play golf. Believe me.”

In its report published Tuesday, the Post detailed some of the charges Trump’s properties have requested from the federal government. They include $7,000 for a 30-person dinner Trump hosted at Mar-a-Lago in April 2017 during a visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping; $6,000 for floral arrangements at Trump’s April 2018 Mar-a-Lago summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe; and $17,000 a month from May to November each year for the Secret Service’s use of a cottage at Trump’s Bedminster club. 

State Department records also reportedly show that during Xi’s visit, White House staffers asked the bartender to leave a Mar-a-Lago bar and served themselves, “so they could speak confidentially,” the club’s catering director later told the State Department.

The drink bill from the night totaled to $1,000, which included 54 drinks of tequila, vodka and bourbon at $15 or $16 each, plus service charge.

The Post noted that one of the smallest charges for which one of Trump’s businesses asked to receive taxpayer reimbursement was a $3 glass of water from Trump and Abe’s meeting at Mar-a-Lago. 

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While Trump still owns his company, control over its operations has been handed over to his sons, Donald Trump Jr.Don John TrumpMost Republicans in new poll say they'd vote for Trump in 2024 President says Trump Jr. doing 'very well' after COVID-19 diagnosis Trump has not prepared a concession speech: report MORE and Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpLara Trump mulling 2022 Senate run in North Carolina: report Juan Williams: Defeated Trump is in legal peril Trump campaign ends voter fraud hotline after it's filled with prank calls MORE, since taking office. 

“Everyone knows that President Trump built a successful business with properties all over the country and the world – it’s one of the many reasons the American people elected him. This is nothing more than a politically-motivated hit piece against the President and The Trump Organization," White House spokesman Judd DeereJudd DeereTrump set for precedent breaking lame-duck period Trump administration revives talk of action on birthright citizenship Trump retreats from public eye in post-election fight MORE said in a statement to The Hill.

"President Trump turned over the day-to-day responsibilities of the business before he took office and any suggestion that the President has used his own official travel or the federal government as a way to profit off of taxpayers is an absolute disgrace and lie. This President is fighting for the American people, not the business that bears his name," he added.

The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.

The Post reported that both the Trump Organization and Deere declined to confirm a total that President Trump’s company had received from the federal government since 2017.

The Post’s reporting comes as President Trump has come under increased scrutiny for his repeated refusal to release his tax returns to the public, claiming an IRS audit is preventing him from doing so. 

A New York Times investigation published last month revealed that based on tax documents the publication obtained, Trump paid no income taxes for 10 of the 15 years before he was elected president and, in both 2016 and 2017, he paid just $750 a year in federal income taxes. 

The president has continued to deny the Times’s reporting, calling it “totally fake news.”

Updated at 4:47 p.m.