00:27 GMT17 June 2021
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    Living in Manhattan has its benefits, but as any New Yorker will tell you, the rent is ridiculously high. Under US President Donald Trump, even the Department of Defense has had to deal with the heat.

    To rent a unit in Midtown Manhattan’s Trump Tower to house the White House Military Office, the Pentagon is spending a shocking $130,000 a month, despite US President Donald Trump not actually having spent any time there in several months, The Wall Street Journal reported. 

    Released by the General Services Administration (GSA), the $2.39 million lease agreement signed Tuesday shows the department paid $180,000 for the last 20 days of April, and will continue to pay $130,000 every month until Sept. 30, 2018.

    This is well above the market rate for similarly sized apartment units in the complex, making it one of the most expensive leases within the Big Apple.

    The 3,472-square-foot unit, however, is not owned by Trump. Named as a "private individual," the landlord has no ties whatsoever to the Trump Organization, clearing up any doubts as to whether POTUS would benefit from the transaction. The owner’s name was redacted from the government report. 

    According to GSA, the 18-month-long "firm lease" does allow the government to ditch the agreement at any moment after the "firm term" expires.The lease does require the tenants to give the property owner at least 180 days notice. 

    Since reports of the agreement first surfaced, many lawmakers within the Democratic Party objected the decision over the "appearance" of renting a Trump-branded property, but were quickly reassured by the DOD. 

    "We are not aware of any means through which the president would personally benefit from a government lease of this space," a letter from the Pentagon informed the opposition, adding that the negotiations were "with the owner’s representative’s only."

    In May, the Pentagon began renting the Trump Tower unit to house the nuclear "football," a briefcase that contains missile launch codes as well as secure communication tools that must follow POTUS wherever he travels. 

    The White House Military Office is required by law to be near the president 24 hours a day, seven day a week. 

    Other agencies, such as the US Secret Service, have also had to increase their budgets to meet Trump’s lifestyle demands. 

    For its 2018 budget, the Secret Service requested an additional $25.7 million to secure Trump Tower and the president’s “protective footprint” within the island city, according to The Wall Street Journal. 


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    Trump Tower, Manhattan, New York City
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