Having campaigned on a promise to ‘drain the swamp’ and end the crony culture of enrichment, the president, once in office, profited enormously.
Limits on per-night room rates were ignored, bar tabs were racked up, and residences were rented even when the president was not around.
Trump Tower is currently being paid $40,000 a month for office space for the campaign, the paper reported, despite the Trump Campaign this time being based out of Arlington, Virginia, and none of Trump’s key staff being in New York.
Since Trump took office, his companies have been paid at least $2.5 million by the U.S. government, according to documents obtained by The Post.
Donald and Melania Trump hosted Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan in April 2017
Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump’s Florida estate, has hosted a series of world leaders
Trump’s companies have reportedly been paid at least $2.5 million by the US government
In addition, Trump’s campaign and fundraising committee paid $5.6 million to his companies since his inauguration in January 2017.
Those payments continued even this year, as Trump fell behind in polls and his campaign ran short of money.
The White House insisted that the president has not attempted to ‘profit off of taxpayers’.
‘Any suggestion that the President has used his own official travel or the federal government as a way to profit off of taxpayers is an absolute disgrace and lie,’ said Judd Deere, White House spokesman, in a statement.
They did not dispute the papers’s receipts, however.
Trump has visited his hotels and clubs more than 280 times, the paper found.
In February 2017, during Trump’s first full month on the job, he hosted Japan’s then-leader Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago.
Donald Trump hosted Shinzo Abe, the Japanese leader, in April 2018
Trump twice invited Abe to visit him at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, pictured in April 2018
The Abes are pictured dining with the Trumps at Mar-a-Lago in April 2018
Federal policy put a $182-a-night limit on rooms, but Mar-a-Lago charged significantly more.
‘[There’s] a five bedroom house that three of the senior staff are staying in at $2,600 per night,’ State Department employee Michael Dobbs wrote his colleagues, in an email later released to the public.
‘The two other Senior staffers (Bannon and Walsh) are expected to be charged $546 for their rooms.’
Federal rules allowed them to pay up to three times the normal limit — $546, in this case — with authorization, and the White House had authorized it.
Several months later Mar-a-Lago lowered the rate it charged the State Department to $396.15 per night, and provided partial refunds for some of the earlier charges.
Two months later, in April 2017, President Xi Jinping of China visited Mar-a-Lago.
The Trumps hosted the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, and wife Peng Liyuan in 2017
The place setting for Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago
The Trumps hosted a lavish dinner for their Chinese guests on April 6, 2017
The resort charged for flowers, and $50 per palm for decorative palm trees.
A group of White House employees went to Mar-a-Lago’s bar, asked the barman to leave so they could speak confidentially, and then consumed 26 servings of Patron and Don Julio tequila, 22 Chopin vodkas, and 6 glasses of Woodford Reserve bourbon, documents obtained by The Post show, in a drinking session that cost the White House $1,005.60, including service charge.
During a dinner, at which Trump told Xi about air strikes in Syria while eating ‘the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen,’ $7,700 was charged for the meal.
In April 2018 Trump hosted Japan’s then-leader Shinzo Abe – a trip for which Mar-a-Lago billed the U.S. government $13,700 for guest rooms, $16,500 for food and wine and $6,000 for the roses and other floral arrangements.
The florist also charged to make sure there were no unapproved flowers, ‘not wanting any white or yellow flowers to be inside property.’
The reason for that was not mentioned in the bill.
Mar-a-Lago’s florist declined to comment, when asked by the Post – citing a nondisclosure agreement.
The itemized bill showed that, for a bilateral meeting, water was billed at $3 each.
Donald Trump and his wife Melania greet Shinzo Abie and his wife Akie in April 2018
It was not just foreign leaders who brought in funds to the Trump-owned resort.
When Trump visited Mar-a-Lago for two weeks at Christmas last year, the club charged the Secret Service $32,400 for guest rooms, the paper claimed.
In addition, Trump’s adult children have brought their father’s company another $260,000 in taxpayer revenue on their own, records show, by taking solo trips to Trump properties with their own Secret Service agents.
And at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club, from May to November the Secret Service pays $17,000 a month to rent a cottage on the grounds, to be ready in case the president decides to visit.