We all know that the Secret Service is required to protect the president’s children, but the tendency of President Donald Trump and his family to funnel funds to their own properties has complicated what had been a routine practice. Government watchdog groups say the Trumps are using the presidency to boost the president’s businesses by forcing the federal government to spend taxpayer money at Trump properties.
A clear example of this scam was revealed after Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, flew to Canada for one of his regular visits to the Yukon mountains to hunt stone sheep with friends. He was accompanied by Secret Service agents on that August 2017 trip, just as he had been since his father was sworn in as president six months earlier.
“The presidency should not be a money-making operation,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the House Oversight Committee. “The president is directing his subordinates in the executive branch of government … to stay at Trump properties.”
In June, the House passed a spending bill that would bar the White House and other federal entities from doing business with Trump-affiliated establishments. Though it is not likely to pass the Senate, it does indicate House Democrats’ interest.
Other examples of the federal government spending money at Trump properties are known: The Secret Service spent tens of thousands at the same Vancouver hotel in February 2017 when Donald Trump Jr., his brother Eric Trump and sister Tiffany Trump traveled to Canada for the hotel’s grand opening, according to documents obtained by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group.
And Public Citizen, another watchdog group, reported in April 2018 that a variety of federal agencies, including the National Security Council and the General Services Administration, spent over $100,000 at Trump properties, according to Politico.
Additionally, the president frequents his properties — primarily in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia — visiting them on more than 250 days since he was sworn into office, according to a compilation of information released by the White House. Those visits, too, have led to the government spending millions at his properties.