WAPO: Trump Directed More Than $8 Million to His Properties

The Washington Post has a new report analyzing expense money Donald Trump directed be paid to his properties since he got his desk in the oval office. Saying it is the tip of the iceberg, it has tracked at least $2.5 million in taxpayer funds, and $5.5 million from his campaign and fundraising committee to his properties.

Since his first month in office, Trump has used his power to direct millions from U.S. taxpayers — and from his political supporters — into his own businesses. The Washington Post has sought to compile examples of this spending through open records requests and a lawsuit.

In all, he has received at least $8.1 million from these two sources since he took office, those documents and publicly available records show.

He’s visited his hotels and clubs more than 280 times now, making them a familiar backdrop for his presidency. And in doing so, he has turned those properties into magnets for GOP events, including glitzy fundraisers for his own reelection campaign, where big donors go to see and be seen.

Some examples [More....]

Since 2017, Trump’s company has charged taxpayers for hotel rooms, ballrooms, cottages, rental houses, golf carts, votive candles, floating candles, candelabras, furniture moving, resort fees, decorative palm trees, strip steak, chocolate cake, breakfast buffets, $88 bottles of wine and $1,000 worth of liquor for White House aides. And water.

Water when no meals were served at a cost of $3 bottle.

The payments are not illegal. But, remember that Trump pledged in 2016:

...he would “completely isolate” himself from his business once in office, and put his voters’ interests above his own.

The Post reports these payments from the Government and his campaign are more than the revenues Trump Organization received for his hotels in Vancouver and Hawaii.

Trump's spokesman denies he misused taxpayer funds. But the Post shows a copy of a check as an example:

A check from the State Department to Mar-a-Lago showing payments for catering and flower arrangements during Abe’s visit. The club also charged the government for hotel rooms used by Abe, Secret Service agents and Trump’s staff — these were paid for with separate checks.

The Post reports Trump began the funding spree in February, 2017, a month after he got his desk in the Oval Office. Documents obtained by the Post show, for example: When Trump visited with Xi Jinping of China at Mar-a-Lago in April 2017, a bunch of staffers flew in for the weekend. They took over the bar and asked the bartender to leave. Here's what they ordered and the White House (not the State Department this time) paid to Mar-a-Lago:

26 servings of Patron and Don Julio tequila, 22 Chopin vodkas, and 6 glasses of Woodford Reserve bourbon, documents show. The bill to the government: $1,005.60, including service charge.

The State Department refused to pay the bill so the White House paid it. Here is an email from a Trump aide discussing the bill.

Not surprisingly, according to the WaPo report, Eric Trump defended the spending with false figures:

“If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free. Meaning, like, cost for housekeeping,” Eric Trump told Yahoo Finance last year. “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 bucks.”

The documents obtained by the Post show:

At Mar-a-Lago, the government was charged rates ranging from $396.15 to $650 per room, according to documents obtained by The Post and people who have seen other, unredacted receipts. The rate for the cottage at Bedminster worked out to $566 per night. Once, when Donald Trump Jr. stopped at the Trump hotel in Vancouver, the Secret Service was charged $611 per night for his agents’ rooms. The Trump Organization has not commented on these higher charges.

Why go on? Read the Post report for yourselves. And remember, none of his supporters will care a whit about this. Which is why it's up to us, the voters, to knock Donald Trump, the Grifter-in-Chief, off his undeserved privileged perch.

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  • Display: Sort:
    They should be (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by jmacWA on Tue Oct 27, 2020 at 02:38:43 PM EST
    The payments are not illegal.

    It would cause no harm to most future presidents for a law to be passed to make them illegal IMO.

    Time to codify the "ethics and norms" (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 27, 2020 at 10:25:53 PM EST
    Clearly people can't be trusted to follow them anymore without a legal obligation. And even then....

    Another police shooting in Philadelphia (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Peter G on Tue Oct 27, 2020 at 10:13:43 PM EST
    of a mentally ill young Black man with a knife. A few blocks from where our daughter lives. Many protesting in the street, but sadly quite a few also taking advantage of the situation to damage property, set fires and loot stores (in a different neighborhood). I can see the Tr*mp campaign ads exploiting this starting tomorrow; totally plays into their hands. Fortunately, millions have already voted. Hopefully enough.

    I was wondering (none / 0) (#12)
    by Zorba on Sat Oct 31, 2020 at 02:35:50 PM EST
    about this, Peter, whether you or your daughter were anywhere near this.
    It's all so sad and appalling, and, yes, those taking advantage of this for looting and property damage just makes things worse.

    There was looting earlier this week (none / 0) (#13)
    by Peter G on Sun Nov 01, 2020 at 12:41:49 PM EST
    in more places than I had realized, including just over the city line, about two miles from the close-in suburb where we live. I am sick to my stomach about whatever slight effect it might have on our already too-close prospects of protecting Pennsylvania's critical electoral vote contribution.

    Yes, the (none / 0) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Sun Nov 01, 2020 at 01:33:04 PM EST
    degradation of peaceful protests into danger zones of rioting and looting is reprehensible and counter-productive. And, so worrisome at this critical point.

    And, no tinfoil hat is required to have a bit of skepticism of the "oranges" to the transformation of protests into political thuggery and criminality.

    As, we learned only later, a right-wing extremist, "Boogaloo Boi", who traveled from Texas to Minneapolis was charged in the arson of the police precinct during the May 26 protests over the killing of George Floyd. And, the "Umbrella Man" who  was involved smashing windows and looting during the Minneapolis riots was identified as a white supremacist.


    This week's looting in Philadelphia (none / 0) (#15)
    by Peter G on Sun Nov 01, 2020 at 02:05:54 PM EST
    was entirely unconnected to the actual protests. Did not spin off from any demonstration. Not even in the same neighborhood(s). Totally opportunist expressions of anomie, not even righteous anger, as far as I could tell.

    The is a contingent of National Guard (none / 0) (#16)
    by Peter G on Sun Nov 01, 2020 at 06:13:05 PM EST
    staging at the strip mall two miles from our house, that I mentioned as the scene of looting last Tuesday. Holy cr*p. I hope they're on the right side, come Tuesday.

    Hopefully (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by jmacWA on Mon Nov 02, 2020 at 04:15:23 AM EST
    Neil Young will not be pressed into service.

    I also (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Zorba on Mon Nov 02, 2020 at 04:03:45 PM EST
    hope so.  At this point, I don't trust most police, and I'm not sure how much I trust the National Guard.  I remember the Kent State shootings all too well fifty years ago, and that was the National Guard (albeit Ohio).

    Only thing that begins to soften (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 27, 2020 at 10:18:57 PM EST
    the blow of knowing he fleeced us is knowing he fleeced GOP donors too.

    They still got what they paid for... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 10:24:32 AM EST
    tax cuts, 3 justices, and gasoline on a cultural/political flamethrower battle amongst the middle/working classes that ensure their continued power/money dominance.  

    They knew or had to know some coin was getting skimmed off the top when they donated to the GOP with a Trump figurehead...I assume they cool with it.


    I saw the guy (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Oct 27, 2020 at 04:27:19 PM EST
    or one of the guys responsible for this story talking about it

    He said this is the literal tip of the iceberg.  That those numbers are only the few govt agencies that they got numbers from.

    He said the true number is much higher and that eventually he would get most of them.

    Do you listen to the Trumo, Inc podcast ? (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by ruffian on Tue Oct 27, 2020 at 10:21:49 PM EST
    He has been on there many times over the years reporting his progress tracking this, and talking about how hard it is to get the records from the agencies.

    It makes me so damn mad - just out and out scamming and no one is even beginning to hold him accountable. Time to stop the gravy train.


    I am not (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 27, 2020 at 05:41:24 PM EST
    surprised to hear that. You don't have to be a math whiz to figure out all the Trump minions going to his resorts with the government being charged the highest rates and feeding everybody 3 meals a day and drinks is going to run up some much bigger numbers.

    4 years ago today (none / 0) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 06:49:03 AM EST
    I'm surpised... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 28, 2020 at 10:28:38 AM EST
    it's only as estimated 8 million...that won't even cover the interest and late fees on all Trump's bad debts.  Even as a gangster he is an incompetent failure.  Lucky or Meyer would have scored ten times that on a racket with this much potential.  What a loser.

    The only logical explanation, really, ... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu Oct 29, 2020 at 02:28:06 AM EST
    ... is "Grifters gotta grift."