Trump not concerned about Mar-a-lago costs, criticism

30 March 2017, 01:37 | Isaac Mcdaniel

The Secret Service also requested $60 million extra for Trump-related costs and protection, according to internal agency documents, about half of that for security at Trump Tower, in NY, where First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron Trump live.

The GAO will also monitor whether Trump has made payments to the US Treasury after his lawyer pledged during a January 11 news conference to donate any profits made from foreign governments staying at Trump Hotels.

President Donald Trump's frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago are more than just a brazen conflict of interest or a crimp on the economy of Palm Beach, Florida.

Democrats are also interested in how much Trump's trips to Mar-a-Lago are costing the American taxpayer.

As Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reports, an informal meeting of the two leaders - in Florida rather than at the White House - may be meant to reduce pressure for any concrete results, which could be hard to achieve at the moment.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) will also be checking whether guests at Mar-a-Lago are subject to security screenings, and evaluate the expenses incurred by government employees traveling to the "Winter White House". Since becoming president, Trump has spent half his weekends at his private club in Palm Beach.

The lawmakers said Tuesday in a statement that the GAO has initiated a review.

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Each of Trump's weekend trips to the resort reportedly costs taxpayers about $3 million. That includes determining if a secure place has been established at Mar-a-Lago.

The lawmakers requested the inquiry by the Government Accountability Office after reports that Trump, accompanied by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, openly discussed North Korea's launch of a ballistic missile while at the resort. We want to know, what privileges do they have, and what privileges they have with regard to bringing their guests?

The GAO also will examine how secure communications are and how the president and his staff are protecting classified information while at the private club.

Who is Donald Trump hanging out with every weekend when he visits Mar-a-Lago or another Trump property?

CUMMINGS: We have now a president who it has become normal for him to be able to reap the profits from these hotels while still being president.

Trump's travel requires protection from the Secret Service, the U.S. Coast Guard and from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, though the government has not disclosed the cost.

"Despite what Attorney General Sessions implied this afternoon, state and local governments and law enforcement have broad authority under the Constitution to not participate in federal immigration enforcement", New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said, nevertheless calling Trump's tactics "draconian".

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