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Trump’s Secret Service bills ‘exorbitant’

Donald Trump's company massively overcharged the Secret Service for rooms at his properties while he was president, a US congressional panel says.

Donald Trump's company massively overcharged the Secret Service for rooms at his properties while he was president, a US congressional panel says.

Donald Trump’s private company arranged for the US Secret Service to pay for rooms at his properties in excess of government-approved rates at least 40 times during his presidency, including two charges for more than $US1100 ($A1750) a night, according to documents released by a congressional committee.

The Secret Service was charged room rates of more than $US800 a night at least 11 times when agents stayed at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, the Trump hotel in Washington, DC, and other properties, the Democratic-led House oversight committee says.

It noted Trump made more than 500 trips to his properties while president.

The “exorbitant” rates point to a possible “taxpayer-funded windfall for former President Trump’s struggling businesses,” committee chair Carolyn Maloney of New York wrote in a letter on Monday to the Secret Service requesting more information.

The Secret Service said it had received the letter and was reviewing it.

The Trump Organization denied the Secret Service charges were a problem and said it provided rooms and other services at cost, at big discounts or for free.

“The Trump Family is likely the first family in American history to have not profited off of the United States government,” said Eric Trump in a statement.

“President Trump funded the vast majority of his campaign with hundreds of millions of dollars of his own money and turned away billions of dollars in real estate deals worldwide.”

In total, the Trump Organization charged the agency responsible for protecting the president and his family at least $US1.4 million, according to Secret Service records released by the committee.

The committee said the total bill was likely higher because the panel only got records through September 2021 and payments for trips abroad were not included.

The former president has been repeatedly criticised by Democrats and government watchdogs for what they say were brazen attempts make money from taxpayer funds during his presidency.

As well as money from the Secret Service when he and his family visited his clubs and hotels, Mr Trump played host to foreign officials at his properties, also requiring lodging for accompanying agents.

– AAP

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