From September 2016 to February 2018, Trump’s Secret Service racked up a total $215,254 bill at their boss’ own property, which is located less than a mile from the White House.
These findings come from federal expense documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request carried out by NBC News, which published the results in a Thursday report.
The Pennsylvania Avenue hotel has been the site of multiple Trump-focused “MAGA Meetup” events, which draw crowds of affiliated political players and hopefuls, as well as everyday fans of 45.
“MAGA Meetups is a new nonprofit corporation that will organize meetup groups throughout the country to provide education, networking, and community for Trump-sympathetic conservatives,” the organization’s mission statement reads, according to the Washington Times.
In accordance with the US General Services Administration’s per diem rates, the Secret Service, which accompanies the president everywhere, is required to reimburse establishments the US leader patronizes for any meal or incidental expenses accrued during a visit.
Of the recently released expenditures, the Secret Service was required to reimburse the Trump International Hotel a total of $33,638 for an unspecified series of charges over a two-day period in June 2017. Other substantial bills include another two-day expense total of $149,000 in the same month and an $11,475 charge over the course of another two days in July 2018, according to the documents obtained by NBC News.
While it is not illegal for US President Donald Trump to continue operating his businesses while in office, his predecessors have historically given up ownership during their tenure to avoid the appearance of them profiting from the presidency – such as Jimmy Carter and his peanut farm.
Furthermore, 45 has received legal opposition from Washington, DC’s Attorney General Karl Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh for allegedly violating the US Constitution’s Title of Nobility Clause, more commonly referred to as the Emoluments Clause. The AGs argue Trump’s refusal to divest or place his businesses within a blind trust clearly goes against the provision’s ban on the sitting president personally profiting from public office.
“The Framers designed these anti-corruption laws to ensure Americans never have to wonder whether the president is working on our behalf or in his personal financial interest,” reads the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia’s statement
The Trump family’s Secret Service also recently made headlines after a female employee allegedly spat on Donald Trump’s 35-year-old son Eric earlier this week at a Chicago cocktail lounge. Though the agents were unable to prevent the spit from hitting the president’s middle son, she was put into custody, only for Eric Trump to later announce that he had no intention of pressing charges against the woman.