The Government Accountability Office agreed March 24 to assess the costs and security precautions related to President Donald Trump’s frequent visits to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, the Washington Post reports.
Trump spent time at Mar-a-Lago at least 17 days of his young presidency, according to The Post. He made five of those trips on Air Force One and utilized the security services of the U.S. Coast Guard, Secret Service and the local police. So far, the government has not revealed the cost to taxpayers.
Also at issue is whether the facility, which Trump owns, is charging the government fair rates for the stay of the president and visiting dignitaries with whom he meets at Mar-a-Lago.
Democratic lawmakers, who called for the inquiry, also asked the GAO to look into reports of national security lapses while Trump conducted government business at his club.
The Post reports that the GAO’s probe examines four specific areas:
1) What measures are being used to protect classified information and provide secure communications capabilities while the president is away from the White House and whether a secure communications space has been created at Mar-a-Lago.
2) The type of security screening the Secret Service employs for guests and visitors of Mar-a-Lago.
3) What measures the Secret Service and Defense Department have taken to ensure the fees they are charged for Mar-a-Lago trips are “fair and reasonable.”
4) Whether the U.S. Treasury has received any payments resulting from profits at hotels that are owned or operated by the president.
This probe comes several days after the Secret Service asked for an additional $60 million for the president’s security. Half of the increase would go toward protecting Trump’s wife and youngest son who live at Trump Tower in New York City.
SOURCE: Washington Post