Because Trump’s business empire is overseen by a trust of which he is the sole beneficiary, he profits from these hotel stays, banquet hall rentals and meals. In a nutshell, that is why. That is the sole reason why. That, despite what he claims of not making any money from holding events at his hotel resorts, he does make money. He never divested himself from the business and instead just has his sons handle it, which of course, also benefit.
Of course, it is unethical but ironically, not illegal. So, whenever Trump visits any of his resorts he is able to charge the U.S. Taxpayer for this visit and incidentals at a premium rate. It is just wrong.
When Trump suggested having a summit at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, the dollar signs were in the back of his mind because he clearly benefits from the income of charging the U.S. Government outrageous amounts.
In 2017, when China's President Xi visited, here is what was charged:
- $7,000 for a 30 person dinner
- $6,000 for flowers
- $1,000 for 54 drinks
- $3 per glass of water
- $17,000 for one month's stay for Secret Service
- $3.4 million each time Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago to relax and unwind
- Secret Service protection costs come to $400,000 for his two oldest sons when they travel
In A GAO study, it showed that the Trump organization charges whatever the maximum rate allowed is. Their billing is never at a discounted or flat rate that give a break to the American taxpayer. Since POTUS has gone to Mar-a-Lago 19 times so far since 2016 election, the tab to the taxpayer is $64 million or so.
Granted, protecting the president is costly as does traveling on Airforce 1, but keep in mind that unlike past presidents who did not have an business empire, Trump does! So, when official state visits use his properties (after he suggests them) or even when to "chill out", the Trump organization bills the U.S. Government at the highest rates possible and they get away with it.
It is just wrong.
perrya (author) on October 30, 2020:
Let me just say, you are correct about the laws, however, Trump's character is on the line here. An ethical person would obviously see the conflict and not have political events at venues they own, let alone, overcharge for costs to the maximum allowed. No taxpayer should defend this man's selfish actions that only benefit himself. The ethical thing to do would be to not promote your Trump venues for official visits.
Sharlee on October 29, 2020:
Trump did not make the laws that provide the loopholes he has used when a mere citizen. I would think you may want to do an article bout Congress if you want to point the finger.