Records Show 'Exorbitant' Charges for Secret Service at Trump Hotels

Eric Trump claims rooms were 'either provided at cost, heavily discounted, or for free'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2022 3:32 PM CDT
Secret Service Paid 'Exorbitant' Rates at Trump Properties
People photograph the outside of the Trump International Hotel on May 11, 2022, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)

Secret Service agents protecting Donald Trump and members of his family were regularly charged "exorbitant" rates to stay at Trump hotels, according to a House Oversight Committee investigation that directly contradicts claims made by Eric Trump. The former president's son, who is executive vice president of the Trump Organization, and other company spokespeople have repeatedly claimed that Secret Service agents stayed at Trump properties "for free," "at cost," or for "like $50," the New York Times reports. Records obtained by the committee, however, show that the agency was billed for amounts much higher than the government-approved rate on numerous occasions, including in April 2017, when Secret Service agents protecting Eric Trump were charged $1,160 for rooms at the Trump International Hotel in DC, reports the Washington Post. The recommended government rate was $242.

In November 2017, when Donald Trump Jr. stayed at the same hotel, the agency was charged $1,185 a night for rooms. The investigation found that the Secret Service received at least 40 waivers to let it spend more than the approved government rate at Trump properties, NBC reports. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the committee's chairwoman, said records show that taxpayers paid at least $1.4 million for Secret Service to stay at Trump properties. In a letter to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle, Maloney said the "exorbitant rates raise concerns about the former president's "self-dealing" and "may have resulted in a taxpayer-funded windfall" for his businesses. Trump stayed at Trump properties more than 500 times during his presidency.

In a statement Monday, Eric Trump said rooms for government employees "were either provided at cost, heavily discounted, or for free." He said the company "would have been substantially better off if hospitality services were sold to full-paying guests." Maloney tells the Times that the hotel stays are just the "tip of the iceberg" of concerns that Trump profited from the presidency. "What gets me is, over and over again, how they just lie about this stuff," she says. "Documents don't lie." The documents released Monday weren't a full accounting of the Secret Service's expenses at Trump properties during his presidency, and they did not include details of Secret Service stays at Trump properties after he left the White House, Axios notes. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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