Reprinted with permission from Alternet
Since he took office, Donald Trump's hotels and clubs have brought in at least $970,000 in U.S. taxpayer money for room rentals. According to hard-won federal records obtained by The Washington Post, this number does not include "an additional $340,000 in such payments" that they've catalogued since March of this year. Considering what we know about this administration, the $970,000 is likely just the tippy top of a truly corrupt iceberg.
The records that the Post looked through show nightly rental rates ranging between $141.66 per night to $650 per night, for at least "950 nights at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and 530 nights at the president's Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida." Obviously, this data contradicts claims made by Eric Trump that his father's business barely charges the government anything.
In October, Eric Trump was reported as saying, "If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free. So everywhere that he goes, if he stays at one of his places, the government actually spends, meaning it saves a fortune because if they were to go to a hotel across the street, they'd be charging them $500 a night, whereas, you know we charge them, like $50." Considering that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin kept a single room at the D.C. Trump International Hotel that cost tax payers $33,000 alone because "Trump hotel charged the maximum rate that federal agencies were generally allowed to pay in 2017," Eric Trump's word is about as worthless as his father's.
The Post's new findings don't necessarily take into account the well over 100 vacations to Trump-owned golf resorts that some have estimated cost the country at least $134,000,000 thus far. But to put the just under $1 million Trump's businesses has charged the U.S. taxpayer into context, the Post details how former vice president Joe Biden charged $171,600 over six years for his Secret Service detail to rent a cottage.
Trump's profiteering is no secret, but the clear conflicts of interest have seemingly made no dent in his supporters' trust. A part of that is a general disenfranchisement with our corrupt political system. Another part of that is that Trump's supporters are either too angry and bigoted or too scared and bigoted to make rational decisions anymore. A third part is that they are dumb as shit.
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