Trump refused to divest from his businesses upon taking office, choosing instead to hand off control of his organization to his two oldest sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. Ethics advocates warned at the time that the arrangement raised conflict of interest and Emoluments Clause concerns.
The issue was revived earlier this year when POLITICO first reported that the U.S. Air Force was spending taxpayer money at Trump’s Turnberry resort in Scotland. The Pentagon ultimately revealed that the U.S. military has spent nearly $200,000 at the luxury Scotland resort since Trump took office. The Air Force acknowledged after an internal review that the stays could create a “public perception” issue, but found no wrongdoing.
According to the newly released Secret Service documents, the majority of Secret Service expenditures in that five-month period occurred at Trump’s golf clubs—listed under a blanket “Trump National Golf Club” category—which the president has visited more than 100 times since taking office. The agency also spent more than $45,000 at Trump Hotel Las Vegas in March 2017, the records show.
Several charges of $10,000 or less occurred on the same day, according to the documents, suggesting much of the Secret Service expenditures occurred at Mar-a-Lago, which reportedly can’t process individual charges over $10,000.
It has been previously reported that the Secret Service allocated $90,000 for golf cart rentals from a Florida company for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago trips between November 2018 and June 2019. But the documents released by the agency this week reveal how much money the Secret Service spent at Trump’s properties themselves over half of the president’s first year in office.
The Secret Service also spent more than $32,000 at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., over those five months, the records show. Trump and his supporters often dine and hold fundraisers at the hotel, which charged the Secret Service more than $200,000 between 2016 and 2018, NBC News reported earlier this year.
The Secret Service did not respond to a request for comment.