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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

Meet the Government Employees Spending Taxpayer Dollars At Trump Hotels — “Trump, Inc.” Podcast

Shortly before President Donald Trump took office, his lawyer promised Trump would forgo any profits his hotels made from foreign governments. There was no similar pledge for money earned from federal government employees, state officials or anybody else who might be seeking to curry favor.

In this episode of Trump, Inc. we’re going deep on Trump’s hotel rooms and the people who are paying to stay in them, including federal government workers.

ProPublica has just released an interactive detailing at least $16.1 million spent at Trump Organization-managed and branded properties from his campaign, Republican organizations and government agencies since Trump announced his candidacy. The vast majority of the money — at least $13.5 million — was spent by Trump’s presidential campaign.

We also found about $340,000 spent by federal agencies. That figure is only a partial tally since it is only for a few agencies and only covers a few months. Many agencies have fought disclosing the information.

Among the examples we know of: In March 2017, the Secret Service paid $27,724.32 at the Trump golf course and resort in Doonbeg, Ireland. The stay was to “support E. Trump Visit.” The president’s son, Eric Trump, visited the resort this spring for business.

Then there’s a Commerce Department worker who put $2,700 on his government charge card for a stay at the Trump International D.C., including $336 for valet parking. When we asked the official about it, he told us, “I could offer clarity but I choose not to.”

As for the White House and Trump Organization, they did not respond to our requests for comment.

Reporting by Derek Kravitz and Derek Willis, ProPublica and Paul Cronan, Mark Schifferli and Charlie Smart, Fathom Information Design.

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