Properties belonging to Donald Trump have reaped more than $2.5m from taxpayers during his presidency, including charges for food, wine and even $3 servings of water, according to The Washington Post.
Quoting open record requests, a lawsuit and publicly available records, The Post reported a “long-running pattern” of payments to properties like Mar-a-Lago, which hosted a summit with the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, in 2018.
After the two-day event, the government was charged $13,700 for guest rooms, $16,500 for food and wine and $6,000 for roses and floral arrangements, with the bill including the line item of $3 for water during the “bilateral meeting”.
According to the documents compiled by the Post, Mr Trump has received a combined $8.1m from taxpayers and his political supporters through his businesses.
Mr Trump has visited his hotels and clubs more than 280 times during his presidency, turning the properties into host venues for Republican events, fundraisers and re-election campaign stops that, in-turn, have become regular customers for the Trump Organisation’s businesses.
Since 2017, taxpayers have been charged for $88 bottles of wine and $1,000-worth of liquor for White House aides, as well as multiple charges for hotel rooms, ballrooms, cottages, rental houses, golf carts, candles, furniture moving, resort fees, decorative palm trees, steak, cake, and breakfast buffets.
The Trump campaign, meanwhile, paid $5.6 million to Mr Trump’s companies over the course of his presidency, according to the Post’s compilation of campaign spending databases and federal spending records.
The Trump Orginisation and Trump campaign did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment, and White house spokesman Judd Deere declined to give a total for the amount paid to Mr Trump’s company since taking office.
“Any suggestion that the President has used his own official travel or the federal government as a way to profit off of taxpayers is an absolute disgrace and lie,” Mr Deere said in a statement.