During Donald Trump’s presidency, Trump hotels charged the Secret Service as much as $1,185 per night, more than five times the recommended government rate, and the high rates continued after he left office, according to an investigation released Monday by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.
Beginning in January 2017 through Sept. 15, 2021, the Secret Service received at least 40 waivers to let it spend more than the recommended per diem rates to stay at Trump properties to protect Trump as a president and former president, and also to protect those around him, the investigation found.
In one ledger obtained by the Oversight Committee and published in the report, the Secret Service was charged $1,160 for a room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. for agents protecting Eric Trump on March 8, 2017. The government rate for D.C. on that night was $242. On Nov. 8, 2017, another ledger shows that the Secret Service was charged $1,185 to lodge agents protecting Donald Trump Jr. The government rate was $201.
In a statement on behalf of the Trump Organization, Eric Trump said, "Any services rendered to the United States Secret Service or other government agencies at Trump owned properties were at their request and were either provided at cost, heavily discounted or for free. The company would have been substantially better off if hospitality services were sold to full-paying guests, however, the company did whatever it took to accommodate the agencies to ensure they were able to do their jobs at the highest levels — they are amazing men and women.”
The Secret Service said it would respond to the findings of the investigation in communications directly with the committee.
“The U.S. Secret Service has received a letter from the House Oversight Committee requesting information pertaining to protection-related hotel charges, and the agency will respond directly to the committee with the requested information,” said Secret Service spokesperson Steve Kopek.
Trump Organization properties overall charged the Secret Service more than $1.4 million for agents’ accommodations when traveling to protect former President Trump, according to figures first reported by The Washington Post.
But it was previously unknown that a single night’s stay for the agents could cost the government agency, and therefore taxpayers, as much as $1,185.
House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney detailed the new findings in a letter to Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle on Monday, noting that then-President Trump said federal employees traveling with him would be able to stay in his company’s properties for free or at cost.
“The exorbitant rates charged to the Secret Service and agents’ frequent stays at Trump-owned properties raise significant concerns about the former President’s self-dealing and may have resulted in a taxpayer-funded windfall for former President Trump’s struggling businesses,” Maloney said.
During his presidency, Trump visited his properties 547 times, including 145 visits to his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, the investigation found, citing a study by Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington. Agents were required to stay at Trump Organization properties in order to protect the president as well as other dignitaries and foreign leaders.
The per diem for Secret Service is usually based on a formula that accounts for the season and location, the committee said, and higher rates are generally scrutinized by the agency.
“The Secret Service received authorization for additional flexibility for expenses during protective missions, including per diem expenses above the government rate,” Maloney said in her letter to the Secret Service.
Maloney said the committee is continuing to seek a full account of Secret Service spending at Trump Organization properties and believes the figure may be larger than the $1.4 million previously reported.