Even for the U.S. military, the rent may be too damn high for a place to stay in New York City.
The Pentagon is paying more than $130,000 a month to rent space at Trump Tower in Midtown Manhattan for the White House Military Office despite the fact that the President has not stayed at the skyscraper for months, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The military agreed Tuesday to pay $180,000 for the last 20 days of April and the new rent every month thereafter, according to the contract, which was released by the General Services Administration (GSA). The leasing rate for the space is far above the going rate for a similar space in Manhattan, making it among the most expensive rentals in the Big Apple.
Large amounts of the 149-page lease were redacted by the GSA, so it is not clear who owns the space being rented. A Pentagon official told The Journal in a letter that the space has a private owner not affiliated with the Trump organization. The department said Trump will not benefit from the rent.
The GSA signed an 18-month “firm lease” with the owner of the property, according to the document obtained by the Journal. The contract also states that the government can cancel the lease at any time after the “firm term” expires, so long as it gives notice of at least 180 days.
The rental amount only covers the cost for the Department of Defense. Other agencies, such as the U.S. Secret Service, have also faced increased costs due to the President and his large family's frequent visits to his other properties.
The Secret Service alone requested an additional $25.7 million for its 2018 budget to cover expenses toward securing Trump Tower and the president’s “protective footprint” in New York City, according to the Journal.
Reports first surfaced in February that the Pentagon was looking to lease space in Trump Tower to house its White House Military Unit. That unit’s tasks include protecting the infamous nuclear “football” -- the briefcase a sitting president uses to authorize a nuclear attack while away from command centers.
At the time, Democrats had expressed concerns about the Pentagon looking to rent space inside Trump Tower.