4 Ways the Trump Administration Is Taking Financial Advantage of Its Power

The Republican party prides itself on fiscal responsibility and small government, but now that the GOP has finally regained power, its members appear more than willing to toss both ideals out the window.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly been accused of using the White House as a chance to line the coffers of his businesses during his few months in office. But now it appears that the president is not alone when it comes to taking financial advantage of running the government — and he’s finding even more ways to cash in on his new role.

Here are just five recent examples of the Trump administration using the government and the party for personal financial gain.

1. Private jets for everyone

Obviously when it comes to business travel, expenses will run up. But does that mean endless fancy private jets to get everywhere? Apparently Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price thinks so, and now even his pundits are calling his jet use “unprecedented.”

“In a sharp departure from his predecessors, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price last week took private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel,” reports Politico. ”Current and former staffers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, say Price has been taking private jets to travel domestically for months,” Politico adds. “Ethics experts say the use of private charters by government officials, while legal, is highly dubious and in most cases a misuse of taxpayer funding.”

Price isn’t alone, either. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has also used private flights — and even tried to book one for his honeymoon — and Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt has been jetting home every weekend, too.

2. Using government investigators as personal body guards

Speaking of Pruitt, he’s apparently worried that he has made some folks angry due to his consistent and obstinate climate change denial. So now, to be certain he remains nice and safe, Pruitt is pulling department agents and turning them into personal security detail.

“Scott Pruitt’s round-the-clock personal security detail, which demands triple the manpower of his predecessors at the Environmental Protection Agency, has prompted officials to rotate in special agents from around the country who otherwise would be investigating environmental crimes,” the Washington Post reports. “The EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance has summoned agents from various cities to serve two-week stints helping guard Pruitt in recent months. And while hiring in many departments is frozen, the agency has sought an exception to hire additional full-time staff to protect Pruitt.”

3. Covering the president’s — and his family’s — legal fees

President Trump has been dogged by the investigation into his ties with Russia since before he was even elected — and someone has to pay for all of those hours of legal assistance. That someone? The Republican National Committee.

ABC News reports:

The Republican National Committee spent over $230,000 last month to cover President Donald Trump‘s legal fees related to the investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, an RNC official confirmed for ABC News. The money went to two members of Trump’s personal legal team: $131,250 to Jay Sekulow and $100,000 to John Dowd through their law firms. Fees to Sekulow’s firm covered work by other attorneys at his firm, the Constitutional Litigation and Advocacy Group. These payments will be disclosed in the RNC’s spending report for August, out Thursday. The RNC has also paid nearly $200,000 of Donald Trump Jr.‘s legal bills.

On the bright side, at least taxpayers aren’t responsible for these expense, right? Well, maybe that’s because they’re actually paying for ….

4. Mar-a-Lago

Finally, after numerous FOIA requests, it appears that someone has finally found proof that taxpayers are footing the bill when government officials, foreign officials or their guests stay at the president’s “Winter White House.”

As the Washington Post reports:

The receipt, which was obtained in recent days by the transparency advocacy group Property of the People and verified by The Post, offers one of the first concrete signs that Trump’s use of Mar-a-Lago as the ‘Winter White House’ has resulted in taxpayer funds flowing directly into the coffers of his private business.

It is not clear whether the invoice stemmed from a one-time occurrence or represented one of many Mar-a-Lago rooms that have been booked at government expense for presidential aides or other officials since Trump took office and began traveling there on a regular basis. Other agencies that likely have had regular presence at the club, such as the Secret Service, have declined to provide The Post information about potential payments to Mar-a-Lago and have referred requests to the General Services Administration. The GSA told The Post in March that it had no records of such payments.

Photo Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

59 comments

Sarah Hill
Sarah H3 days ago

This is interesting since at least 4 members of his administration, including himself, are not taking salaries. They are working for us for free.

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Amanda M
Amanda Mabout a month ago

Don't blame me, I didn't vote for ANY of these Rethuglican Religious Reich assclowns, and considering that they are all the textbook definition of "Absolute power corrupts absolutely," I'm VERY glad that I didn't vote for them! Unfortunately, the mess they are going to leave this country in is going to bite EVERYBODY in the butt, if they don't launch us into World War III first and kill us all!

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Peggy B
Peggy B1 months ago

Noted.

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Judy P
Judy Pelton1 months ago

tried to share this article on FB - couldn't share. I notice there's no # of shares listed as there always is so I assume everyone else had same problem. ??? (too bad.)

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E1 months ago

david f
You are just like trump. Schoolyard bully and everyone ELSE is wrong except you.
Maybe you like troll better for yourself

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Elaine W
Elaine W1 months ago

It is a scam but many do not want to admit they are being conned. No one wants to be a fool so T-Rump cult followers will not give up the game.

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David F
David F1 months ago

Rhoberta, you keep mumbling BOT, is that your BOTOX migrating into your brain again?

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David F
David F1 months ago

Post your proof, Last word Rhoberta.

OH wait, you can't, you're a Fake News victim.

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Carole R
Carole R1 months ago

Money rules the world, sadly.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E1 months ago

david f
BOT. No, you finally have a POTUS who steals millions of dollars and allows his alligators to do the same. Crook in chief. But, it's YOUR taxes david

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