Former President Donald Trump charged the Secret Service nearly $10,200 in May while agents stayed at his golf club in New Jersey to protect him, new financial records show. The rate at which Trump is using tax dollars to line his own pockets is unheard of in modern times, according to The Washington Post, which first broke the news.
According to The Post, the Secret Service’s stay in May, when Trump arrived in Bedminster, was 18 nights long. Though the exact price-per-night is redacted on the records, the rate seems to be similar to what the Bedminster club had charged them when Trump was in office: $566.64 a night, all at taxpayer expense.
The rest of the records from May have yet to be released, but the agency has released documents showing that they continued their stay past the 18 nights, through at least the start of July.
According to public records, Trump has charged the Secret Service $50,000 in rent from when he left office in January to May. Previous reporting found that he charged the agency over $40,000 from January to April to stay at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, at a rate of about $396 a night.
Both rates are much higher than the “like 50 bucks” a night that Eric Trump has said the former president was charging the Secret Service, and the minimal fees that Trump’s company has said it charges for agents’ stays. At various points in 2017, the Secret Service was charged $650 a night, The Washington Post found. In total, Trump charged the Secret Service $2.5 million while he was in office.
The rates are also much higher than anything modern presidents have charged the Secret Service to protect them. The only other person in recent history to have charged the Secret Service any rent at all, according to The Washington Post, is President Joe Biden, who charged a far lower rate between 2011 and 2017, when he was vice president.
Most former presidents do cost taxpayers money to the tune of millions per year to pay for various things like presidential pensions, rent and staff. Many of them, like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, also pocket millions from speeches and book deals — all while having overseen and, in almost all cases, accelerated record levels of wealth accumulation for the top 1 percent.
Trump, however, thus far seems to be incurring more costs for taxpayers than other former presidents, while continuing to pilfer his supporters’ wallets, too. Though only time will tell the true amount that Trump costs taxpayers yearly, he has already cost taxpayers over $140,000 in the month after he left office by taking the unusual step of extending Secret Service protection for his four adult children.
According to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), that includes over $50,000 for transportation costs and almost $90,000 in hotel charges.
Though it’s unclear exactly how much Trump has pocketed and continues to pocket from charging the Secret Service to stay at his properties, the presidency was most certainly a windfall for him. After he refused to give up ties to his many conflicts of interest while in office, he ended up profiting at least $1.6 billion from outside sources during his term, according to financial disclosures analyzed by CREW.
Meanwhile, political antics set off by Trump are also costing taxpayers millions. In February, The Washington Post calculated that the former president’s completely unfounded lies about election fraud cost taxpayers at least $519 million in legal fees and National Guard troop deployment.
In the ensuing months, the election fraud lies have cost even more: in Arizona alone, for instance, where Republicans are fueling a spurious and biased ballot “audit,” taxpayers will have to shell out millions to replace voting machines that may have been compromised during the so-called review process. That’s on top of the $150,000 that the review has already cost taxpayers.