The branch of the military supporting the White House is dropping roughly $130,000 a month to rent an apartment in Trump Tower—a rate more than twice as high as the most expensive listing in the building, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The Department of Defense indicated it hoped to lease a space in the president's namesake New York skyscraper back in February. It then set up an HQ for the White House Military Office (WHMO) at the Midtown high-rise in April. Aside from protecting Trump and his family, the WHMO also makes sure the "nuclear football"—a briefcase containing all the president needs to launch a nuclear attack—is constantly on-hand.
But the president hasn't spent a single night at Trump Tower since he took office, the Journal reports. While First Lady Melania Trump and their son Barron lived there well into the president's term—costing New York City about $149,000 a day to protect the building—they moved to the White House in June. Still, the government has already signed a $2.39 million lease on the space through September of 2018.
The US government is paying significantly more for the 3,475-square-foot apartment than folks in similarly sized digs in Trump Tower. The most expensive listing on offer—a 3,725-square-foot three bedroom—costs just $50,000 a month unfurnished, the Journal reports. According to the General Services Administration, the agency responsible for renting government office space, the unit is privately owned by businessman Joel Anderson, Trump's old neighbour and a member of Trump Tower's board of directors, so the president won't directly profit from the deal.
The $2.39 million in taxpayer dollars is just a fraction of the boatload of cash the government is spending to protect the president and his large, globe-trotting family. Trump's on track to spend more on travel in a year than former president Barack Obama did in eight, with a hefty chunk of those expenses incurred by the Secret Service. According to the Washington Post, the security agency has already requested an additional $60 million in funding to protect the Trumps through 2018.
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