Trump Jr. se­cu­rity to In­dia: $97,805

Don­ald Trump Jr.’s trip to sell his fam­ily’s lux­ury con­do­minium cost U.S. tax­pay­ers nearly $100K.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Front Page - By An­nie Gowen

WASH­ING­TON — Don­ald Trump Jr.’s lav­ish trip to In­dia to sell his fam­ily’s lux­ury con­do­minium projects cost U.S. tax­pay­ers nearly $100,000, documents ob­tained by The Wash­ing­ton Post show.

The De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, re­spond­ing to a Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion re­quest, re­leased 47 pages of pur­chase or­ders, req­ui­si­tion forms and plan­ning work sheets show­ing Trump Jr.’s Fe­bru­ary trip cost more than

$97,805 for ho­tel rooms, air­fare, car rental and over­time for Se­cret Ser­vice agents. The costs were in­curred on a Fe­bru­ary tour of four In­dian cities — Kolkata, Mum­bai, New Delhi, and Pune — where the Trump fam­ily has li­censed its name to lux­ury high-rise projects.

Trump Jr., 40, is the ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of the fam­ily real es­tate com­pany that the pres­i­dent still owns, although the el­der Trump says he has stepped back from day-to-day con­trol.

Dur­ing his tour, Trump Jr. walked the red car­pet, at­tended a ribbon cut­ting at a high-rise build­ing over­look­ing the Ara­bian Sea in Mum­bai, hosted cham­pagne din­ners for buy­ers and had a pri­vate tete-a-tete with In­dia’s Prime Min­is­ter, Naren­dra Modi. Full-page glossy news­pa­per ads of­fered those who put down a

$38,000 de­posit on a new lux­ury project out­side Delhi a chance to dine with the pres­i­dent’s son, prompt­ing charges of con­flict of in­ter­est. His team boasted to re­porters it had sold $100 mil­lion worth of the pricey flats, in­clud­ing $15 mil­lion in a sin­gle day.

The Se­cret Ser­vice is au­tho­rized by law to pro­tect the pres­i­dent and his im­me­di­ate fam­ily, although Trump Jr. briefly waived his pro­tec­tive guard last fall while on a moose-hunt­ing trip to the Yukon. The idea that the U.S. tax­pay­ers are foot­ing the bill for Se­cret Ser­vice travel while the Trump chil­dren are on trips to pro­mote the fam­ily’s brand over­seas has prompted crit­i­cism from both Capi­tol Hill and watch­dog groups.

Jor­dan Li­bowitz, com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor for the watch­dog group Cit­i­zens for Re­spon­si­bil­ity and Ethics in Wash­ing­ton, said that be­cause the pres­i­dent has not placed his as­sets in a blind trust, as others have done, he still ef­fec­tively con­trols his real es­tate em­pire and ben­e­fits from his chil­dren’s trav­els. Both Trump Jr. and the pres­i­dent’s other son, Eric, have trav­eled widely to pro­mote the Trump brand, in­clud­ing trips to Dubai and Van­cou­ver.

“The is­sue is that es­sen­tially the pres­i­dent still owns his busi­nesses, and these trips are be­ing done to make the pres­i­dent money. Es­sen­tially the gov­ern­ment is spend­ing money for the pres­i­dent’s pri­vate busi­nesses,” Li­bowitz said.

The Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion did not re­spond to emails or re­turn calls for com­ment.

In a state­ment, Jef­frey Adams, a spokesman for the Se­cret Ser­vice, said for se­cu­rity rea­sons the agency could not dis­cuss “the means, meth­ods, re­sources, costs, or num­bers uti­lized to carry out our pro­tec­tive re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.”

The Trump fam­ily will face tighter scru­tiny go­ing for­ward now that the Democrats have re­gained con­trol of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, ex­perts say.

Rep. Eli­jah Cum­mings, D-Md., a critic of the strains Trump’s large fam­ily has placed on the Se­cret Ser­vice’s bud­get, is ex­pected to as­sume con­trol of the House over­sight com­mit­tee next year.

Democrats be­gan in­ves­ti­gat­ing the costs of Trump’s fam­ily travel last year, but the ef­fort did not get far. They are now await­ing the re­sults of two re­ports from the Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­ity Of­fice — one on the costs of pres­i­den­tial travel and a sec­ond on the se­cu­rity at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s pri­vate club in Palm Beach, Fla., the com­mit­tee said.

Chuck Young, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of pub­lic af­fairs for the GAO, says the fam­ily travel study is ex­pected out in mid-De­cem­ber and will in­clude travel in 2017; this means Trump Jr.’s In­dia trip is not in the study’s scope.

Dur­ing the nearly week­long trip pro­tect­ing Trump Jr., Se­cret Ser­vice agents fol­low­ing Trump criss­crossed the coun­try, staying in a va­ri­ety of lux­ury ho­tels, in­clud­ing the Oberoi in New Delhi and the Four Sea­sons in Mum­bai, where rooms range from $150 to nearly $500 a night. The pro­mo­tional events were for prop­er­ties where the Trumps have li­cens­ing deals, not prop­er­ties the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion owns.

The documents re­leased by DHS are in­com­plete — the Mum­bai fig­ures show an es­ti­mate of the to­tal trip cost as $25,174, in­clud­ing

$18,785 for rooms at the Four Sea­sons and $6,389 for car rentals, cell­phone use and pay­ment of lo­cal staff. Pur­chase or­ders of the fi­nal ho­tel bills with the Gen­eral Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion show the gov­ern­ment paid

$15,166 for rooms dur­ing what it called “Don Jr Visit to Mum­bai” and an­other bill for $3,501.

MONEY SHARMA/GETTY-AFP

Don­ald Trump Jr. takes the stage Feb. 23 in New Delhi dur­ing a trip to drum up sales for new lux­ury flats in In­dia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.