Room rates at President Donald Trump’s Doral resort doubled before the White House announced that he would visit the property on Thursday to address the Republican National Committee, HuffPost reports.
The cheapest rates at the property shot up from $254 per night to $539 around the same time as the planning for the trip began in January.
The new rate is just below the maximum rate allowed by the federal government for a hotel in South Florida and more than three times the normal “per diem” rate that government employees are expected to follow.
Taxpayers to foot part of the bill:
Though Trump is only scheduled to be at the resort for a few hours, Secret Service agents and other aides are typically dispatched to the property days ahead of the president’s visit. At least two dozen aides usually arrive several days ahead of the visit.
The White House would not say how much taxpayers will be billed for the stays of Secret Service and White House employees.
The stays are estimated to cost tens of thousands of dollars. The RNC is also expected to spend about $500,000 on the three-day event, along with more than 160 individual RNC members paying out of pocket.
Watchdog group cries foul:
“What better way to defend yourself in an impeachment trial over abuse of power than to jet to your private golf resort on the public dime, secure lots of publicity for the club on the public dime, and then, possibly, rip off taxpayers by forcing them to pay extra for the staff whose costs at the resort are billed to ‘we the people,’” Robert Weissman, the head of the watchdog group Public Citizen, told HuffPost.
“Not only is the president personally profiting from his office by the increased political patronage of his business, the business raises rates when he does so he’ll profit even more,” added CREW’s Jordan Libowitz. “What we’re seeing is a blending of Trump’s political career and his business, which is certainly not something you want to see from the president of the United States.”