Newly uncovered documents undermine claims about how much the Trump Organization is receiving from U.S. taxpayers.
"President Trump’s company charged the Secret Service $157,000 more than was previously known — billing taxpayers for rooms at his clubs at rates far higher than his company has claimed, according to a new trove of receipts and billing documents released by the Secret Service," The Washington Post reported Thursday.
The watchdog group Public Citizen spent three years litigating a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the documents.
"When added to dozens of charges already reported by The Washington Post, the new documents show that Trump’s company has charged the Secret Service more than $628,000 since he took office in 2017," the newspaper noted.
According to Trump Golf Count, the president has spent 123 days at Mar-a-Lago, 75 days at Bedminister -- with 247 days spent at golf courses.
"The payments show Trump has an unprecedented — and still partially hidden — business relationship with his own government. The full scope of that relationship is still unknown because the publicly available records are largely from 2017 and 2018, leaving huge gaps in the data," The Post explained.
Eric Trump said they only charge the Secret Service "like 50 bucks" for rooms.
"The new documents include bills from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., showing charges for 177 additional nightly room rentals in 2017, 2018 and 2019," the newspaper reported. "The rate was $396.15 per night per room, the receipts show."
"In response to questions from The Post about the Secret Service payments, Eric Trump has said the company charges the Secret Service 'at cost' but declined to provide more details," The Post noted. "The rate charged to the Secret Service at Mar-a-Lago was more than double what the club charged another government customer, a visiting official from the Department of Veterans Affairs, according to VA records."
"The documents reviewed by The Post so far have included charges for more than 590 nights in rooms at Trump properties. At Mar-a-Lago, the rate for the Secret Service started at $650 per night, according to people who have seen unredacted versions of the receipts from early 2017 viewed by The Post. The rate then fell to $396.15 per night by fall 2017, other receipts show. At Bedminster, the monthly cottage rent worked out to $566.64 per night," the newspaper explained. "The Post has not yet found any instance where a Trump property charged the Secret Service $50 per night for a room or any rate under $100 per night."
The newspaper noted the documents turned over to Public Citizen weigh sixty pounds.
NEW: We've identified another $157,000 in payments from taxpayers to @realdonaldtrump's company, as Trump Org. char… https://t.co/s4xwgzf0Kx— David Fahrenthold (@David Fahrenthold) 1583441168.0
BREAKING: We won a 3-year battle for Trump admin. public records. The records help @Fahrenthold show that Trump’s… https://t.co/YCWyk0rRMA— Public Citizen (@Public Citizen) 1583442793.0