Throughout his presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump loved to boast of his business acumen. “Run the country like a business,” GOP leaders argued, claiming that an alleged multi-millionaire and head of a major business empire would have all the financial know-how to get the US out of debt and in tip-top economic shape.
Voters fell for it, and now President Donald Trump is running the US just like the rest of his financial endeavors — into the ground while subsidizing his own comfort and lining his pockets with cash.
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Despite the “Emoluments Clause” — the Constitutional rule stating that no president should use his or her position in office to create financial gain — the President’s Trump businesses, which he refused to officially remove himself from, are making profit hand over fist. And most of that new business is coming straight from the Republican Party itself.
According to the Washington Post, the Republican Party has spent $1.3 million in funds renting out Trump hotels and resorts just since the start of 2017. Meanwhile, the RNC and the Republican Governor’s Association has used these locations for their fundraisers, events and other meetings — all while essentially giving financial kickbacks to the Trump family.
“The nearly $1.3 million spent by Republican political committees at Trump entities in 2017 has helped boost his company at a time when business is falling off at some core properties. Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla., lost at least 10 of the 16 galas or dinner events it had been scheduled to host next winter in the wake of Trump’s controversial response to a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville,” The Washington Post reports. “The market has been much more bullish for the president’s new hotel in Washington, which has emerged as the go-to venue for GOP power brokers and groups on the right. Trump International, whose room rates appear to be the most expensive in the city, generated nearly $2 million in profit in its first four months, as The Washington Post previously reported.”
Of course, one of the most frequent visitors to these resorts is President Trump himself.
His visits to Mar-a-Lago, or the “Winter White House,” were legendary, and his golf weekends put all past presidents to shame. In fact, President Trump’s travel is so extensive that it appears he actually managed to bankrupt the Secret Service — his protection detail — just eight months into the year.
According to one agent, the Secret Service has already reached max caps on salary and overtime for agents all in an attempt to cover the president, his children and their various houses, vacations and business trips all over the world.
“Secret Service Director Randolph ‘Tex’ Alles, in an interview with USA TODAY, said more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year,” reports USA Today. “The agency has faced a crushing workload since the height of the contentious election season, and it has not relented in the first seven months of the administration. Agents must protect Trump – who has traveled almost every weekend to his properties in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia – and his adult children whose business trips and vacations have taken them across the country and overseas.”
The agency is attempting to get lawmakers to approve an additional budget and raise the cap in pay from $160,000 per year to $187,000. But even with that raise, many agents will reportedly still end up not receiving compensation for the hours they have put in protecting the first family.
Running the country like a business was supposed to mean sticking to budgets, staying within one’s means and making cuts where necessary. Instead, the president is living it up high executive-style and budget-free, assuming that someone else will cover his expenses as executive perks. And all the while, his own wealth is increasing through his entities.
Maybe, in the end, President Donald Trump is an excellent businessman. After all, he’s got the American taxpayers covering his bills.