Donald Trump’s adult children reportedly cost taxpayers $140,000 in Secret Service security in the month after the clan’s patriarch left the White House in January.
Ordinarily, family members of a president lose their security detail when they leave office. But in the case of the four Trump siblings and two of their spouses, the former president issued a directive to extend post-presidency protections by six months.
The costs, obtained by the watchdog group Citizens for Ethics, do not include security protections at Trump properties in New Jersey, Palm Beach and Briarcliff, New York. With those factored in, the total would likely be far higher, according to the group.
According to the watchdog, records reveal that the Trump children maintained a “breakneck speed of travel, and racked up significant hotel and transportation bills for the Secret Service”. Transport costs alone amounted to $52,296.75, and hotel costs totaled at least $88,678.39.
If that schedule is maintained, the group estimates, post-presidency protection costs could nearly $1m. The group has previously calculated that the Trump family made 12 times as many trips in three years as the Obamas made in seven.
The arrangements, however, are not unique: former presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George W Bush also sought protection extensions, though in the case of Clinton and Obama their children were by then at, or close to, college-age.
The Washington Post, which reported on Trump’s directive in January, found that extensions to Secret Service protections were also extended to former treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, former chief of staff Mark Meadows and former national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
Under federal law, Trump and his wife Melania are entitled to protection for their lifetime; their teenage son Barron receives his until he turns 16.
The watchdog found that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump went from their jobs at the White House to a 10-day vacation in Utah, racking up hotel costs of $62,599. After a month in Miami, they stayed at Trump’s Bedminster golf property for three days in late February.
Eric and Lara Trump spent much of February at Trump’s Briarcliff property, interspersed with trips to New York, Miami and Palm Beach, at a cost of $12,742.
Donald Trump Jr also spent time in New York City, on Long Island, and in upstate New York, racking up bills of $13,337.
But Citizens for Ethics said the Secret Service did not provide records of spending at Trump businesses.
“While it may be tempting to put the story of the Trump family’s profiteering in the past, we cannot until they have actually stopped directing taxpayer money into their own bank accounts,” the group said.