Donald Trump and his surrogates love to brag about the fact that he refuses to accept his $400,000 annual presidential salary and instead donates it to various federal agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security or the Interior Department, as if he’s some sort of world-famous philanthropist whose personal charity, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, wasn’t shut down by the Attorney General of New York for stealing from donors (including money donated to help children with cancer) to enrich him and his family.
And now, thanks to some excellent reporting from Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post, we learn that Trump has actually been fleecing American taxpayers to the tune of nearly $1 million by steering government business to resorts such as his Mar a Lago golf club in Palm Beach, Florida:
“Trump has brought the Trump Organization a stream of private revenue from federal agencies and GOP campaign groups. Federal spending records show that taxpayers have paid Trump’s businesses more than $900,000 since he took office. At least $570,000 came as a result of the president’s travel, according to a Post analysis.”
One of the underhanded ways Trump managed to assure he could suckle off the public teat was to charge his Secret Service security detail premium rates for staying in rooms so they could do their job of protecting him:
“New federal spending documents obtained by The Post via a public-records lawsuit give more detail about how the Trump Organization charged the Secret Service — a kind of captive customer, required to follow Trump everywhere. In addition to the rentals at Mar-a-Lago, the documents show that the Trump Organization charged daily ‘resort fees’ to Secret Service agents guarding Vice President Pence in Las Vegas and in another instance asked agents to pay a $1,300 “furniture removal charge” during a presidential visit to a Trump resort in Scotland.”
Art of the deal? Art of the grift would be more accurate.
Shortly after he was elected, the president promised the American people he would “completely isolate” himself from the Trump Organization, which is ostensibly run by his two eldest sons, Don Jr. and Eric, neither of whom could run a faucet without assistance.
How blatant has the failure to “isolate” from his business been? Consider the following examples:
“He tried to award the massive Group of Seven summit to his Doral resort in Miami, dropping the idea after a public backlash. He filmed video messages for big-spending private clients at Mar-a-Lago. He suggested that Pence visit a Trump property in Ireland, according to the vice president’s chief of staff. Pence then shuttled back and forth across Ireland, at U.S. taxpayer expense, to do government business on one coast and stay at Trump’s hotel on the other.
“But the most frequent way Trump is known to have helped his properties has been just to visit them, with the vast, big-spending presidential entourage in tow.”
Donald Trump is president of the United States in name only. In reality, he’s nothing more than the Swindler-in-Chief.