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U.S. military spent nearly $150,000 at Trump properties, documents show

Trump’s company charged the military for stays at his New Jersey golf club, Las Vegas hotel and Mar-a-Lago resort

The U.S. military spent nearly $150,000 at former president Donald Trump's properties during his time in office, including at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
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The United States military spent at least $147,000 at former president Donald Trump’s properties during his presidency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The military often booked rooms or cottages at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., and at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida for weeks at time at rates of $566.64 and $396.15 per night, respectively, the documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request show. Some of the dates appear to correspond to Trump’s stays at the properties. Military aides usually accompany the president wherever he goes.

The newly released documents show again how Trump personally benefited from government spending at his properties, as Secret Service agents, military officials and others followed him as he frequently visited his hotels, clubs and golf courses. As some of those properties struggled during the coronavirus pandemic and because of the polarizing nature of his presidency, that government spending became a stable source of income.

As The Post previously reported, Trump’s luxury properties charged the Secret Service more than $1.1 million in private transactions while Trump was in office — including for room rentals at his Bedminster golf club in the spring of 2020 while it was closed for the coronavirus pandemic.

Secret Service has paid rates as high as $650 a night for rooms at Trump’s properties

But until 237 pages of documents from the U.S. military were provided to The Post earlier this week — more than two years after the newspaper requested them — it was unknown what the military had spent. The documents include spending from the start of Trump’s presidency until early 2020; it’s not clear how much the military spent over the rest of his final year in office.

The documents include invoices from Trump properties to the White House Military Office and the Navy for military stays at four Trump properties: the Bedminster golf club, his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., his hotel in Las Vegas and his golf resort in Doonbeg, Ireland.

The documents show the Navy at times agreeing to rent cottages, or rooms, for an entire month.

Spokespeople for Trump and the Trump Organization did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for the U.S. military also did not respond to a request for comment.

Eric Trump, the president’s son, has previously said that the company did not profit off the military or government officials staying at Trump properties. “If my father travels, they stay at our properties for free,” he said in 2019, clarifying that the government would pay for basic costs like housekeeping.

But in some cases the invoices show the military paying far more than federal officials are typically permitted when traveling on government business. In May and June 2017, for instance, documents show Trump’s Bedminster club charged the military $700 per night, totaling more than $30,000. The following year, the club charged the Navy $566.64 per night to reserve a four-bedroom cottage for nearly three months, totaling almost $45,000.

Trump’s company appears to have given the military some discounts. Trump billed military officials for dozens of stays at Mar-a-Lago at $396.15 per night, according to the documents. Many of the invoices are labeled: “NOTE: ALL ROOM RATES ARE BILLED AT COST.” That rate mirrors what the club charged the Secret Service for some of their stays there in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

Newly obtained documents show $157,000 in additional payments by the Secret Service to Trump properties

During a 2018 stay at Trump’s Las Vegas hotel, the company appears to have comped the military $55.31 for room service “Dinner Wine.”

The military did not always book rooms at the president’s Mar-a-Lago Club when traveling to West Palm Beach, sometimes paying for much less expensive rooms at nearby. The records include dozens of invoices for $182-per-night rooms at Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn hotels nearby.

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