The Trump Organization is charging the U.S. Army $130,000 every month for rent spaces in Trump Tower, while the military is using the spaces to provide a service that is hardly necessary to anyone.
A ‘Vital’ Service No One Needs
However, the White House Military Office describes the said service as “vital” since the law requires the president to be accompanied by military officers “at all times” just like the nuclear football, the briefcase that the president can use to authorize a nuclear attack while away from the Oval Office.
However, the U.S. Army shelled out more money than that two months ago when the Pentagon agreed to pay $180,000 in rent for just 20 days. The contract between the Trump Organization and the Army was published by the General Services Administration.
In other words, the Commander in Chief’s family is profiting big from the U.S. military renting a space that he hasn’t visited in months. The Wall Street Journal found that the monthly lease rate is a lot higher than “typical rate” for downtown Manhattan. Trump Tower is now one of the costliest properties to rent in New York.
Pentagon’s Response to Criticism
Democrats criticized the contract for creating an “appearance” of renting since the president isn’t residing in the building. The Defense Department, though, insisted on perfecting the contract, saying that Trump would not get a direct benefit from the lease.
Pentagon replied to Democrats’ criticism in a lengthy letter which read: “We are not aware of any means through which the president would personally benefit from a government lease of this space.” The truth is the Trump Organization is the owner of the Trump Towers.
According to the New York Times, Trump has not divested himself completely from his businesses. He just placed the assets in a trust to fend off any complaints about a conflict of interest. The Times found that he is still being briefed on profits and losses, and can dismiss the two trustees managing his business empire – his eldest son Don Jr. and CFO Allen H. Weisselberg – whenever he wishes. It’s still a bit of conflict of interest when Don Jr. holds a place in the White House as an adviser.
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