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Security for Trump’s Mar-a-Lago visits cost local taxpayers $13 million

Local law enforcement and government security costs for President Trump‘s visits to Mar-a-Lago have topped $13 million, according to county documents. 

The Palm Beach Post reports that the federal government has reimbursed nearly $10 million to local taxpayers since September of 2018, with another $3.8 million yet to be paid. 

The estimates cover Trump’s Mar-a-Lago visits between November 2016 and Easter of 2019 and, according to the Post, most of the funds go toward overtime costs for the Palm Beach County Sheriff Department deputies.

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Local costs make up only a portion of the expenses tied to Trump’s visits to his luxury Palm Beach, Fla., resort and other Trump Organization golf clubs. A HuffPost analysis published in late 2019 places the total cost for Trump’s resort visits at more than $118 million.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to release the Secret Service costs for Trump’s travels under Senate legislation currently being negotiated. Mnuchin is reportedly cooperating with senators on the legislation but has fought against their proposed deadline to reveal costs, pushing for it to be after the 2020 election. 

Trump, who in 2016 promised to “rarely leave the White House,” reportedly racked up an estimated $13.6 million on Secret Service costs for travel during one month alone.

Democrats argue that taxpayers have a right to see the full bill for the president’s travels. Some have also argued his visits to Trump properties are a subject of ethical concern, as costs for security members’ food and lodging benefit the Trump-branded resorts.

However, Trump’s son Eric Trump has defended the president’s visits, arguing they’re a good way to conduct business. 

“You can sit with somebody in a golf cart where there might be cultural differences and language barriers and have a good time and build a friendship with somebody in a way you could never do sitting across an office table from someone,” Eric Trump told The Irish Independent in 2017.

“Mar-a-Lago is an amazing estate that has been a very effective tool for [my father] to go down and get to know somebody while not sitting … across a wooded partition, which instantly makes a relationship more strenuous.”

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