This is not great. Although the source is the Washington Post, which has gone so off the deep end against President Trump that they are hard to trust. Still, it seems the news is backed up by documentation.
According to the Post:
President Trump’s company charges the Secret Service for the rooms agents use while protecting him at his luxury properties — billing U.S. taxpayers at rates as high as $650 per night, according to federal records and people who have seen receipts.
Those charges, compiled here for the first time, show that Trump has an unprecedented — and largely hidden — business relationship with his own government. When Trump visits his clubs in Palm Beach, Fla., and Bedminster, N.J., the service needs space to post guards and store equipment.
Trump’s company says it charges only minimal fees. But Secret Service records do not show that.
At Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club, the Secret Service was charged the $650 rate dozens of times in 2017, and a different rate, $396.15, dozens more times in 2018, according to documents from Trump’s visits.AD
Secret Service pays rates as high as $650 a night for rooms at Trump’s properties, documents showNew documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal the rates the Secret Service paid at President Trump’s priorities. (Zach Purser Brown/The Washington Post)
And at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, the Secret Service was charged $17,000 a month to use a three-bedroom cottage on the property, an unusually high rent for homes in that area, according to receipts from 2017. Trump’s company billed the government even for days when Trump wasn’t there.
These payments appear to contradict the Trump Organization’s own statements about what it charges members of his government entourage. “If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free — meaning, like, cost for housekeeping,” Trump’s son Eric said in a Yahoo Finance interview last year.