Since leaving office in January, former President Donald Trump has continued to charge the Secret Service $396.15 a night to rent one room at his Mar-a-Lago resort that they use as an office.
The Washington Post obtained Secret Service spending records that found taxpayers have already footed $40,011.15 to keep agents near Trump from January 20 until April 30 of this year.
The $396.15-per-night rate is the same amount Trump charged the agency as president and the Secret Service is now renting fewer rooms, the documents show.
President Donald Trump is still charging the Secret Service $396.15 a night to rent a room used as an office at his Mar-a-Lago. Here Trump is seen golfing at his nearby West Palm Beach golf resort in early May
Former President Donald Trump is pictured in the ballroom at Mar-a-Lago on April 17. He’s continued the practice of charging the Secret Service to use a room at his private Palm Beach resort
President Donald Trump moved to Mar-a-Lago in January. In May he moved to his Bedminster, New Jersey resort for the warmer months. Neither the Secret Service nor the Trump Organization would say if the Secret Service would be charged rent at Bedminster
However, because Trump now lives at Mar-a-Lago, instead of just spending weekends and holidays there, the Secret Service paid the private Florida club nearly as much this spring as it did during the same period in 2018 or 2019, The Post said.
The rate, which is ‘billed at cost,’ has never been fully explained by the Trump Organization.
An even higher rate, $567-per-night, is what Trump charged the Secret Service to rent a four-room cottage from him at his Bedminster, New Jersey property, where he moved recently to spend the warmer months.
The Secret Service and the Trump Organization declined to say whether taxpayers will foot a similar bill during Trump’s post-presidency.
More money may have been spent at Mar-a-Lago as well, as Trump stayed in Florida after April 30, the cut-off for the most recent Secret Service filings.
David Williams, the president of the D.C.-based, Taxpayers Protection Alliance called the set-up a ‘double whammy’ for taxpayers, who are paying the salaries of Secret Service agents and for a place for them to stay.
‘It is important for former Presidents to be protected, but there is no reason why President Trump can’t give them free lodging,’ Williams argued to DailyMail.com. ‘As owner of Mar-A-Lago, Trump he has the ability to waive all fees associated with their lodging, especially considering that he was a president who said that he cared about taxpayers and the fiscal well-being of the country.’
‘This one act alone won’t solve the deficit crisis, but it will be symbolic that the President is doing his part to rein in spending at least a little bit,’ Williams added.
‘It’s tacky,’ Jeffrey Engel, the head of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University told The Post. ‘Just because you can make a buck doesn’t mean you should make a buck. And especially when you have a situation when you’re an ex-president. You’re not going to starve.’
Unlike when presidents are in office, ex-presidents have little constraints on how they can make money.
Forbes estimates that Trump is worth $2.4 billion.
The Post also noted there’s no precedent on Trump’s scale of president or ex-presidents charging the Secret Service that kind of money.
The closest example the newspaper found was the $171,600 now President Joe Biden charged the Secret Service to rent a cottage near his Delaware beach home from 2011 to 2017.
He was the vice president all but the final year.
Biden has not charged the Secret Service rent since becoming president, The Post reported.
Beyond charging the Secret Service, Business Insider reported earlier this week that Trump was taking his goverment pension.
Trump has $221,400 available to him in 2021, as ex-presidents are entitled pensions under the Former Presidents Act, with Trump’s pay equal to that of a cabinet secretary.
So far he’s received $65,600.
While in office, Trump committed to donating his presidential salary back to government entities, which he did for 14 of the 16 fiscal quarters.
His salary from his final six months in office is unaccounted for, with a spokesperson not answering DailyMail.com’s inquiry on whether he donated or kept it.
Additionally, Trump has spent $1.2 million in taxpayer funds to keep staff on his payroll since leaving office.
And the Secret Service has been spending $140,000 a month to protect Trump’s four adult children: Donald Trump Jr., Eric, Ivanka and Tiffany, as Trump negotiated them getting Secret Service for six months after his White House departure.
Trump is also eligible to use taxpayer funding to keep an office space.
A General Services Administration representative told The Post that Trump isn’t charging taxpayers for the office he uses at Mar-a-Lago.
‘There is no agreement to pay rent at Mar-a-Lago for any space the former president is using at the club,’ a GSA representative told the paper.