First, former President Donald Trump downplayed the coronavirus pandemic while 881 active Secret Service employees were infected with the virus. Then this May, he charged the agency tasked with protecting his life rent of almost $10,200 for one month of guest rooms at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, according to records The Washington Post obtained. He’s stuck taxpayers with a more than $50,000 cost for rooms for Secret Service agents since he was voted out of office in January, The Washington Post reported.
Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent, told the Post the “service is more focused on the protective necessity, as opposed to, ‘How much is it going to cost after the fact?’” “It’s a question of not, ‘Can they do it?’ but ‘Should they be charging that much?’” Wackrow said. When added with charges to the State Department to host foreign leaders; to the Secret Service for other rooms; and to the Defense Department for aides to accompany Trump to his Irish golf club and to Mar-a-Lago, Trump has stuck the government with a bill of more than $2.5 million during his presidency, the Post reported.
It’s not exactly the $50 a night Eric Trump, the former president’s son, alleged his father charged the government in 2019 to host the 2020 G7 Summit at Donald Trump’s golf club. “If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free,” Eric Trump said. “So everywhere that he goes, if he stays at one of his places, the government actually spends, meaning it saves a fortune because 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,” he added.
The Post estimated that Trump actually charged $566.64 per night for a four-bedroom “cottage” at Trump’s Bedminster. A White House spokesman told the newspaper President Biden hasn’t charged the Secret Service rent since he became president, but he reportedly charged the Secret Service $2,200 a month to rent a cottage on his Delaware property when he was vice president. That came to a total of $171,600 between 2011 and 2017, the Post reported.
That, however is nothing, compared to Trump’s bill, which by the way doesn’t include the $219,000 a year pension he’s entitled to. Jordan Libowitz, communication’s director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, told The Washington Post that considering Trump’s assets and income he should consider comping the Secret Service’s lodging fees. “He obviously should have Secret Service protection,” Libowitz said, adding that “there’s no reason that his company should not do the patriotic thing, and just comp the government for the security it is providing him.”
It should be a knee-jerk reaction for any decent human-being, considering the Secret Service was left at risk for much of the pandemic. Nearly 14% of the Secret Service workforce was infected with COVID-19 between March of 2020 and March of 2021, Talking Points Memo reported. “The Secret Service’s essential law enforcement mission required agency employees to remain in continuous contact with the public during the pandemic,” Secret Service spokesperson Justine Whelan told ABC News last month. “Now and throughout the pandemic, the Secret Service was fully prepared and staffed to successfully meet these challenges.”
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