Secret Service Just Paid $40K to Guard Trump at Mar-a-Lago

Washington Post tallies up the bill since Jan. 20
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2021 8:52 AM CDT
Secret Service's Mar-a-Lago Bill Since Jan. 20: $40K
The Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.   (Greg Lovett/The Palm Beach Post via AP, File)

(Newser) – Like all former presidents, Donald Trump still gets protection from the Secret Service. But the Washington Post reports that Trump's protection comes with a unique wrinkle: He gets to charge the agency for the privilege. More specifically, his Trump Organization has been charging $396.15 a night for the use of a room at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. All told, the Secret Service paid more than $40,000 to Trump from Jan. 20, the day he left office, through April 30. The charges presumably continued into May, before Trump decamped from Mar-a-Lago for New Jersey. Trump also charged the agency for such stays while he was president, and the story suggests that no other president or former president has charged rent on this scale.

However, the story notes that Joe Biden collected rent as vice president, charging $2,200 a month for the use of a cottage on property he owns in Delaware. From 2011 to 2017, that added up to more than $171,000. The White House says Biden has not charged any rent since becoming president. The Post talks to historians who sounded surprised that Trump, a billionaire, hasn't comped the rooms. Jeffrey A. Engel, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University, calls it "tacky." Trump's reps did not respond to the newspaper's requests for comment. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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