Trump Organization executive vice president Eric Trump has disputed a recent Washington Post report that claimed the business group charged the Secret Service — and by extension taxpayers — hundreds of thousands of dollars for hotel rooms occupied by President Trump's security detail.
"It's disgusting," Trump said on Friday's "Fox News Rundown" podcast. "I see that story and it's disgusting"
The paper reported last week that Secret Service records obtained from undisclosed sources show nearly $500,000 in payments to the Trump family's companies since the president took office in January 2017, including $650 per night for rooms at Mar-a-Lago and $17,000 a month for a three-bedroom cottage at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.
The story was authored by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Fahrenthold, who Eric Trump claimed has long had it out for the president.
"David Fahrenthold, he's the hit person for The Washington Post who comes after my father every single day," he said. "And it's disgusting."
"They talk about, you know, the U.S. government paying $600 for a room at Mar-a -Lago. And it's not $600 for a room, it's $600 for many rooms," said the younger Trump, who added: "Legally, by law, you have to charge the federal government something, otherwise you get into all sorts of gift laws."
"We could go out and sell a room for $1,500 a night," Eric Trump went on. "There's very limited rooms, Mar-a-Lago's the hottest place in the world. We charge them cost, effectively housekeeping cost -- and they go out and say we charge $650 for a room, which was [actually] many rooms."
Eric also remarked that the organization has lost "a fortune" on rooms occupied by government employees and reiterated that he makes "zero profit on anything government-related."
"But," he continued, "you'll have the crooks over at The Washington Post. They'll come out with stories, which is absolutely disgusting, you know, talking about us 'profiting off of government.'"
Host Dave Anthony pointed out that the Post story alleges an "unprecedented and largely hidden business relationship" between the president and "his own government."
"I joke all the time that I would like nothing more than to never have another person from the government stay at one of our properties because it displaces a true paying guest," Eric Trump responded. "People who are using restaurants and using the facilities and using everything else."
When Anthony asked Trump if he would provide that information to the House Oversight Committee, the president's son said he was unwilling to share information that could potentially compromise Secret Service procedures.
"I'm not about to hand over what the Secret Service protocol is and how they protect the President of the United States," he said. "That's something I wouldn't do."
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