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Ivanka Trump’s luxury weekend in the Dominican Republic cost US taxpayers $58,000

It costs to keep up.

First daughter and US presidential adviser Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, vacationed at a luxury resort in the Dominican Republic over a long weekend in August. The cost to US taxpayers: more than $58,000.

A White House spokesperson says the couple covered their own costs for what was a “personal trip,” but taxpayers were on the hook for hotel expenses for the security detail.

Federal spending documents show a $32,064 payment made by the government on Aug. 3, 2018. The reason listed: “VIP VISIT AMANERA RESORT RIO SAN JUAN.” Four days later, on Aug. 7, the State Department’s bureau of diplomatic security made a separate payment for $26,280 through the US embassy in Santo Domingo, for reasons identified simply as “HOTEL RESERVATION.” No specific property was listed, but this payment also appears to be connected to the stay at the Amanera.

The Amanera Resort is a “six-star” property in the town of Rio San Juan, part of the Aman chain known for its clean lines and sky-high prices. According to Hoy (link in Spanish), a local news site, she traveled by private jet, and police vehicles and US Secret Service agents were observed outside the resort while she was there. Kushner’s presence was not noted by local media, but was confirmed to Quartz by the White House, which told us:

“The Kushners were on a personal trip and followed all ethics guidelines and rules for White House officials. The only expenses incurred by the government were due to USSS protection, which they are required to have. They personally covered all other expenses incurred as related to the trip.”

Trump arrived on either Friday, Aug. 10 or Saturday, Aug. 11 (local press reports differ on the exact arrival date) and left on Monday, Aug. 13. Accommodations at the Amanera on the same dates for August 2019 begin at $1,650 per night.

The cost of Secret Service protection depends on what the Secret Service deems necessary, and protectees have no say in those decisions, the White House spokesperson said.

Secret Service for the Trump family

Trump’s immediate family, including his grown children, are entitled to Secret Service protection, ethics experts note. “The big problem is we haven’t had necessary oversight of the unusually high expenses incurred by the Secret Service to support the security of Trump and his grown children,” said Virginia Canter , the chief ethics counsel at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, and a former ethics czar during the Obama and Clinton administrations.

Historically, there’s been little transparency on these kinds of expenditures. The cost of protecting the president’s family is not publicly reported on an annual basis by the US government, nor tracked by any watchdog organization from president to president. Instead, the cost to taxpayers typically comes to light on a piecemeal basis, either as news outlets comb federal spending databases or as partisan outfits like the conservative group Judicial Watch, which frequently reported on travel expenses incurred during the Obama administration , critique their political opponents.

Last year, an NBC News report identified hotel and car rental expenses for the Secret Service and State Department coinciding with various business trips by Trump’s adult children, including:

  • $97,830 during Eric Trump’s business trip to Uruguay in January 2017
  • $4,0162.02 on rental vehicles just ahead of Eric Trump’s business trip to Cap Cana, Dominican Republic, in January 2017
  • $53,155.25 during Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Tiffany Trump’s business trip to Vancouver in February 2017
  • $16,738.36 during Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump’s business trip to Dubai in February 2017

The president’s children are routinely accompanied by security for leisure travel, too. A week-long Aspen ski vacation taken in March 2017 by Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump, and their families cost taxpayers at least $330,000 in security costs, plus thousands more in ski equipment rentals for the agents assigned to shadow the family on the slopes, according to records obtained by CBS News. Their half-sister Tiffany Trump’s June 2017 holiday to Berlin with her boyfriend cost taxpayers a reported $22,440 in hotel expenses for the Secret Service agents who accompanied the pair.

According to the documents on USASpending , a website run by the Treasury Department, the $32,064 payment relating to Ivanka Trump’s Amanera visit came from the State Department’s Bureau of Overseas Buildings. A State Department spokesperson says this is incorrect but had no further information on which agency paid the bill. The spokesperson confirmed, however, that the bill was paid with government funds.

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Ivanka’s role

Ivanka Trump’s exact role inside her father’s administration has been hard to define. While she’s officially listed as “advisor to the president” focusing on “education and economic empowerment of women,” unlike traditional cabinet members, she does not have a well-defined portfolio or a public budget. In November, she hosted a “Pledge to American Workers” event at the White House, touting job growth.

Her opinions, and those of her husband, who also is a presidential advisor, are taken seriously in the White House. Together they pushed for an “Opportunity Zone” program to give tax breaks to developers in low-income neighborhoods where a company in which Kushner owns a big stake has investments, the AP reported . The couple also is thought to have been a factor in the recently announced departure of the president’s chief of staff, John Kelly, who once reportedly accused them of “playing government.”

Trump ties to the DR

Donald Trump said early in his presidency his Trump Organization real estate company would not enter into new business deals while he was in office. But in February 2018, the company revived a development project in the Dominican Republic, where it paired up with a local firm to build towers on the beach. Ivanka Trump, who was formerly in charge of overseas acquisitions at the real estate company, resigned her position before her father’s inauguration, but Vanity Fair noted in January 2017 that she still gets a “fixed series of payments from the revenue of a spate of projects.”

The US ambassador to the Dominican Republic is Robin Bernstein , one of the founding members of the president’s Mar-a-lago club in Florida and supporter of Trump’s Florida campaign . Bernstein was sworn in on July 3, about a month before Ivanka Trump’s visit.

Ivanka Trump’s family skiing ‘funded by the taxpayer’

Secret Service agents are said to have communicated with local authorities ahead of the group’s arrival but did not ask for the Aspen Police Department’s help for the holiday

Ivanka Trump has sparked outrage for the cost of her family’s spring break ski holiday in Colorado.

President Donald Trump’s daughter, her husband Jared Kushner, their children and the President’s other son Eric reportedly required 100 Secret Service agents to travel with the group for the trip.

The US Secret Service, funded by the US taxpayer, is reported to have spent $12,208 on rental ski equipment and clothing at the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.

Fellow holiday-goers at the high-end ski resort in the Rocky Mountains voiced their anger about the Trump family’s presence. Some expressed their annoyance at struggling to get dinner reservations and increased traffic in their area.

Dozens of residents staged an impromptu protest to voice their opposition to the president’s cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to The Aspen Times, data on the Federal Procurement Data System found the secret service signed a contract last week for $12,208 for “lease or rental of equipment, clothing, individual equipment and insignia”.

But the ski club’s director told the local paper the club does not rent ski equipment and he knew nothing of the contract. “I see all the checks that come through here and I certainly didn’t see one from the Secret Service,” Mark Godomsky said. “For me, this is entirely out of the blue.”

However, an anonymous Aspen area law enforcement source suggested the rental equipment might be for Secret Service agents protecting members of the Trump family while they are on their skiing trip.

Another anonymous law enforcement source said roughly 100 Secret Service agents were expected to accompany the family, saying: “It’s a big gathering”.

Secret Service agents are said to have communicated with local authorities ahead of the group’s arrival but did not ask for the Aspen Police Department’s help for the holiday.

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People expressed their outrage about the skiing holiday and juxtaposed it’s said cost with the president’s recently announced extensive budget cuts to social programs.

“GOP: Taxpayers can’t afford Meals on Wheels anymore, but they CAN afford to pay for Trump’s kids to vacation,” said one critic on Twitter.

“I’m not vacationing this year so that I can pay for Trump kids security to ski in Aspen this week. Hope I get a T-shirt,” chipped in another.

Eric Trump’s wife Lara shared a photo of the billionaire family, including Mr Kushner who arrived late to the holiday, on the ski slopes on Monday. Eric, who is an executive of the Trump organisation alongside his brother Donald Jr, posted a photo of their two dogs.

Despite the fact the Trump children have taken a number of holidays in the lavish Aspen resort over the years, Mr Trump previously criticised former First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to the same location, claiming it cost taxpayers substantial amounts of money.

“With 15 per cent US real unemployment and a 16T debt, @Michelle Obama’s luxurious Aspen vacation – her 16th – cost us over $1m,” he claimed on Twitter in July 2012.

This is not the first time Ms Trump, a former executive of the Trump Organisation, has found herself at the centre of controversy. The first daughter recently came under fire for sharing a photo of her “date night” with her husband and senior Trump advisor, Mr Kushner, in the immediate aftermath of the President’s hard-line immigration ban.

She drew heavy criticism for sharing the posed photo of herself and Mr Kushner, a former property developer, while humanitarian chaos swept across airports around the world, with people accusing her of “extreme insensitivity” and labelling the photo “wildly offensive”, “inappropriate” and “tone deaf”.

The Independent contacted a representative of Ms Trump for comment.

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1 /1 Ivanka Trump’s family skiing ‘funded by the taxpayer’

Ivanka Trump’s family skiing ‘funded by the taxpayer’

‘Taxpayers can’t afford Meals on Wheels anymore, but they can afford to pay for Trump’s kids to vacation,’ says critic

Ivanka Trump’s family skiing ‘funded by the taxpayer’

Secret Service agents are said to have communicated with local authorities ahead of the group’s arrival but did not ask for the Aspen Police Department’s help for the holiday

Ivanka Trump has sparked outrage for the cost of her family’s spring break ski holiday in Colorado.

President Donald Trump’s daughter, her husband Jared Kushner, their children and the President’s other son Eric reportedly required 100 Secret Service agents to travel with the group for the trip.

The US Secret Service, funded by the US taxpayer, is reported to have spent $12,208 on rental ski equipment and clothing at the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club.

Fellow holiday-goers at the high-end ski resort in the Rocky Mountains voiced their anger about the Trump family’s presence. Some expressed their annoyance at struggling to get dinner reservations and increased traffic in their area.

Dozens of residents staged an impromptu protest to voice their opposition to the president’s cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to The Aspen Times, data on the Federal Procurement Data System found the secret service signed a contract last week for $12,208 for “lease or rental of equipment, clothing, individual equipment and insignia”.

But the ski club’s director told the local paper the club does not rent ski equipment and he knew nothing of the contract. “I see all the checks that come through here and I certainly didn’t see one from the Secret Service,” Mark Godomsky said. “For me, this is entirely out of the blue.”

However, an anonymous Aspen area law enforcement source suggested the rental equipment might be for Secret Service agents protecting members of the Trump family while they are on their skiing trip.

Another anonymous law enforcement source said roughly 100 Secret Service agents were expected to accompany the family, saying: “It’s a big gathering”.

Secret Service agents are said to have communicated with local authorities ahead of the group’s arrival but did not ask for the Aspen Police Department’s help for the holiday.

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

1 /9 The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Trump and the media

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Trump and the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Union leaders applaud US President Donald Trump for signing an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations during a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington DC. Mr Trump issued a presidential memorandum in January announcing that the US would withdraw from the trade deal

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The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Trump and the Mexico wall

A US Border Patrol vehicle sits waiting for illegal immigrants at a fence opening near the US-Mexico border near McAllen, Texas. The number of incoming immigrants has surged ahead of the upcoming Presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, who has pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border. A signature campaign promise, Mr Trump outlined his intention to build a border wall on the US-Mexico border days after taking office

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Trump and abortion

US President Donald Trump signs an executive order as Chief of Staff Reince Priebus looks on in the Oval Office of the White House. Mr Trump reinstated a ban on American financial aide being granted to non-governmental organizations that provide abortion counseling, provide abortion referrals, or advocate for abortion access outside of the United States

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Trump and the Dakota Access pipeline

Opponents of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines hold a rally as they protest US President Donald Trump’s executive orders advancing their construction, at Columbus Circle in New York. US President Donald Trump signed executive orders reviving the construction of two controversial oil pipelines, but said the projects would be subject to renegotiation

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Trump and ‘Obamacare’

Nancy Pelosi who is the minority leader of the House of Representatives speaks beside House Democrats at an event to protect the Affordable Care Act in Los Angeles, California. US President Donald Trump’s effort to make good on his campaign promise to repeal and replace the healthcare law failed when Republicans failed to get enough votes. Mr Trump has promised to revisit the matter

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Donald Trump and ‘sanctuary cities’

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order in January threatening to pull funding for so-called “sanctuary cities” if they do not comply with federal immigration law

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Trump and the travel ban

US President Donald Trump has attempted twice to restrict travel into the United States from several predominantly Muslim countries. The first attempt, in February, was met with swift opposition from protesters who flocked to airports around the country. That travel ban was later blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The second ban was blocked by a federal judge a day before it was scheduled to be implemented in mid-March

SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images

The controversial orders Donald Trump has already issued

Trump and climate change

US President Donald Trump sought to dismantle several of his predecessor’s actions on climate change in March. His order instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to reevaluate the Clean Power Plan, which would cap power plant emissions

People expressed their outrage about the skiing holiday and juxtaposed it’s said cost with the president’s recently announced extensive budget cuts to social programs.

“GOP: Taxpayers can’t afford Meals on Wheels anymore, but they CAN afford to pay for Trump’s kids to vacation,” said one critic on Twitter.

“I’m not vacationing this year so that I can pay for Trump kids security to ski in Aspen this week. Hope I get a T-shirt,” chipped in another.

Eric Trump’s wife Lara shared a photo of the billionaire family, including Mr Kushner who arrived late to the holiday, on the ski slopes on Monday. Eric, who is an executive of the Trump organisation alongside his brother Donald Jr, posted a photo of their two dogs.

Despite the fact the Trump children have taken a number of holidays in the lavish Aspen resort over the years, Mr Trump previously criticised former First Lady Michelle Obama’s trip to the same location, claiming it cost taxpayers substantial amounts of money.

“With 15 per cent US real unemployment and a 16T debt, @Michelle Obama’s luxurious Aspen vacation – her 16th – cost us over $1m,” he claimed on Twitter in July 2012.

This is not the first time Ms Trump, a former executive of the Trump Organisation, has found herself at the centre of controversy. The first daughter recently came under fire for sharing a photo of her “date night” with her husband and senior Trump advisor, Mr Kushner, in the immediate aftermath of the President’s hard-line immigration ban.

She drew heavy criticism for sharing the posed photo of herself and Mr Kushner, a former property developer, while humanitarian chaos swept across airports around the world, with people accusing her of “extreme insensitivity” and labelling the photo “wildly offensive”, “inappropriate” and “tone deaf”.

The Independent contacted a representative of Ms Trump for comment.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

1 /1 Ivanka Trump’s family skiing ‘funded by the taxpayer’

Ivanka Trump’s family skiing ‘funded by the taxpayer’

‘Taxpayers can’t afford Meals on Wheels anymore, but they can afford to pay for Trump’s kids to vacation,’ says critic

Source https://qz.com/1490579/ivanka-trumps-dominican-republic-vacation-cost-us-taxpayers-58000

Source https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/ivanka-trump-family-aspen-skiing-holiday-family-taxpayer-secret-service-agent-a7643246.html

Source https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/ivanka-trump-family-aspen-skiing-holiday-family-taxpayer-secret-service-agent-a7643246.html

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