The Washington Post
reported Friday that former President Donald Trump
charged the Secret Service
more than $40,000 for a room at Mar-a-Lago
this spring while agents were protecting him after he left office.
According to federal spending records, the Florida
club charged the Secret Service nearly $400 per night for a room from the day Trump left the White House
and moved to Mar-a-Lago on Jan. 20, through April
30, for a single room that was used as a workspace by agents, according to a source.
Because Trump had been at Mar-a-Lago full time since leaving office, the Secret Service paid the club nearly as much in the spring of 2021 as it had in comparable periods in 2018 and 2019, according to the newspaper.
Though presidents are guaranteed Secret Service protection for life, the Post found no other example of a sitting or former president continuing to charge the agency rent “on this scale.” Trump, a billionaire, receives a $219,000 annual pension and has a staff paid for by US taxpayers.
Trump's profiting from the government follows a pattern established while he was in the White House, with his properties charging the United States government more than $2.5 million for lodging for Secret Service agents and other costs by last October, according to the Post.
He also cashed in on Republican
donors, with Mar-a-Lago raking in $400,000 in catering and rental income from campaign contributions
in just two days of fundraising events last July. Donor money
spent at Trump properties has been estimated to range from $10.5 million to $17 million.
New @FEC filing: Trump Victory paid $400,000 to Trump Hotel alone in Q2—steering over $3 MILLION in donations from presidential campaign donors to Trump family
, properties, & businesses with his 2020 re-election campaign & Trump MAGA
joint fundraising cmte—$17.4M+ counting 2016 pic.twitter.com/jS7rp4258K — Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) July 16, 2020
“It’s tacky,” said Jeffrey Engle, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago rent bills for the Secret Service. “Just because you can make a buck doesn’t mean you should make a buck. Especially when you’re an ex-president. You’re not going to starve,” he told the Post.