The US Treasury’s payments to President Donald Trump’s companies have amounted to at least 2.4 million dollars during his presidency. His Florida taxpayer club charged more than $ 400 for a glass of water when Trump met with the Japanese prime minister there.
Trump has spent much of his presidency in accommodations run by his companies, primarily in Florida and New Jersey. Trump is accompanied by an adviser and bodyguard from the US Secret Service, which the federal government has to pay the companies to host. Trump has thus been able to direct significant business to his own companies by staying there.
The federal government has been reluctant to provide information on the extent of payments from the Treasury to Trump companies. Washington Post now says that these payments are significantly higher than previously known. They amount to at least two and a half million dollars. This is shown by the new data that the paper has received for the year 2018.
Not only has Trump directed the federal government’s dealings with his own companies, but he has also succeeded in persuading the Republican Party and his presidential candidacy to hold many of his corporate events. Taken together, the Washington Post reports that Trump’s company has received $ 8.1 million, or more than $ 1.1 billion, from the party and state since he became president in 2017.
Millions for food, drink, and accommodation
Trump companies have charged American taxpayers for all kinds of services in recent years: hotel rooms, halls, huts, rental houses, golf carts, prayer lights, floating candles, decorated candlesticks, furniture transportation, ornamental palm trees, steaks, chocolate cakes, breakfast buffets, breakfast buffets, administration fees, and even water bottles.
According to the paper, when Trump received Shinzo Abe, the then Prime Minister of Japan, at his club in Florida in April 2018, the company charged the federal government close to 14 thousand dollars for guest rooms, more than 16’000 dollars for food and wine and nearly USD 6’000 for decorations such as roses and other flower decorations.
The company even charged taxpayers for glasses of water when Trump and Abe met alone and no food was served. The bill charged three dollars, equivalent to more than 3 Dollars, for each glass of water for a “bilateral meeting”.
It is clear that the Treasury’s payments to President Trump are even higher in fact. A number of ministries and agencies, including the White House itself and the State Department, have refused to disclose payments to the president’s companies.
Broke a promise to end the relationship
As president, Trump is exempt from laws that prohibit other federal officials from directing business to their own companies. However, before taking office, he promised that he would “completely isolate himself” from running the business. He would be so busy as president that he would probably have little time to travel to the companies he owns.
However, Trump has broken those promises. Unlike the previous president, he refused to cut all ties with the business empire. He still enjoys the fruits of the business that his sons run. He has also traveled 280 times to his own company as president, according to the Washington Post.
“If I win, I may never see my property, I may never see these places again,” Trump said in the 2016 election campaign.
The US government is setting a ceiling on how much agencies can pay for services such as hotel accommodation. However, the secret service, which is in charge of the president’s security, is excluded from that maximum. Thus, Trump’s hotels and clubs have been able to charge the intelligence services much higher amounts for hosting the president’s bodyguards, much higher than the “cost price” that Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons, said the companies charged for hotel rooms.