We paid for empty rooms

Clever trick!

The Secret Service had asked for a room close to the president. But Mar-a-Lago said it was too late. The room was booked. Would agents like a room across the street from the president, instead?

March 2017, this was. They didn’t waste much time.

The next time, the Secret Service didn’t take the same risk. It paid Mar-a-Lago to book rooms for two weeks at a time — locking them up before the club could rent them to others, according to newly released records and emails.

For Trump’s club, it appeared, saying no to the Secret Service had made it a better customer. The agency was paying for rooms on nights when Trump wasn’t even visiting — to be ready just in case Trump decided to go, one former Trump administration official said.

More $$$$ for him, less for us. That’s what the presidency is for, right?

Trump has now visited his own properties 271 times as president, according to a Washington Post tally — including a visit Thursday, when he met with GOP donors at his D.C. hotel.

Through these trips, Trump has brought the Trump Organization a stream of private revenue from federal agencies and GOP campaign groups. Federal spending records show that taxpayers have paid Trump’s businesses more than $900,000 since he took office. At least $570,000 came as a result of the president’s travel, according to a Post analysis.

This is one of Trump’s talents – thieving and cheating on the small scale as well as the large.

Now, new federal spending documents obtained by The Post via a public-records lawsuit give more detail about how the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service — a kind of captive customer, required to follow Trump everywhere. In addition to the rentals at Mar-a-Lago, the documents show that the Trump Organization charged daily “resort fees” to Secret Service agents guarding Vice President Pence in Las Vegas and in another instance asked agents to pay a $1,300 “furniture removal charge” during a presidential visit to a Trump resort in Scotland.

This is all part of his rebellion against The Elites.

In response to questions for this report, White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement that Trump has “turned over the day-to-day responsibilities of running the company though he was not required to, [and] has sacrificed billions of dollars” because of discarded deals.

“The Washington Post is blatantly interfering with the business relationships of the Trump Organization, and it must stop,” Deere wrote in his statement. “Please be advised that we are building up a very large ‘dossier’ on the many false David Fahrenthold and others stories as they are a disgrace to journalism and the American people.”

There are newly-released documents that show Trump charged the government inflated prices, contrary to what Eric Trump has been claiming all this time.

In early 2017, for instance, Pence visited Las Vegas to speak to a Republican Jewish Coalition gathering. He stayed one night at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas, newly released receipts show. The Secret Service was charged for 151 rooms, at about $102 per room per night — the maximum rate for Las Vegas at the time under normal federal per-diem rules. Secret Service agents are allowed to exceed the limit while on protective duty.

In Las Vegas, the Trump hotel also tacked on $29 per room in “resort fees,” receipts show. That added $4,379 to the bill, for a total of $20,183. The hotel’s website said the fee covered services such as coffee, shoe shines and shuttle service to the shopping mall at the Caesars Palace casino. The Trump Organization did not say why it had charged resort fees to working Secret Service agents.

Here’s why: because it could. Because we have all these putative norms and rules and must nots, but we do exactly nothing to enforce them.

Trump’s children and grandchildren also visited Trump properties repeatedly, bringing their own taxpayer-funded Secret Service details.

In September 2017, for instance, Donald Trump Jr. stayed at the Trump hotel near the White House while in Washington to testify before a Senate committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. His Secret Service detail reported paying the hotel $3,300 for rooms over two days, according to the newly released receipts.

It’s great, isn’t it? Junior had to testify because he’s entangled in his daddy’s corrupt government even though the rules say he should have nothing to do with it, and because they’re ignoring all those norms, they get to stick us with yet another inflated bill for staying in his daddy’s own hotel. Heads they win tails we lose.

Trump visited his D.C. hotel Thursday to meet with donors and supporters. The hotel has been a hub of activity all week, with panels and private events led by senior Trump administration officials ahead of his Republican National Convention speech. Some Trump family members, officials and allies have spent time in a private suite there before and after their speeches. Thursday’s event was arranged by Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, officials said.


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