There is a growing divide in the GOP. Last week, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH), who voted to impeach Donald Trump, announced he will not run for re-election.
One GOP lawmaker in a safe red seat spoke candidly on condition of anonymity about the conundrum facing the party… “The majority of the Republican base feels that Jan. 6 was justified… Every day, I hear the word ‘Civil War’ — every day.”
However, one thing about the GOP that has not changed is the sound of silence at Trump’s billing taxpayers for millions, both during and after his time in the White House.
While President, Trump visited his own properties more than 280 times, milking the public for at least $2.5 million. For example, his Bedminster, N.J. club charged the Secret Service $17,000 a month, every month from May to November, to rent a cottage for when Trump or a kid would visit. When Trump hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, the club billed us more than $7,000 for a 30-person dinner.
Presidents are entitled to Secret Service protection for life. Trump has been charging his security detail $396.15 per night for the space they use at Mar-a-Lago. From January 20 to April 30, his Florida club billed taxpayers more than $40,000.
But the bigger outrage is this: just before leaving office, Trump mandated 24-hour Secret Service protection for his four adult children and two of their spouses as well as former treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, former chief of staff Mark Meadows and former national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien. There was no public executive order or public statement announcing this unprecedented extension.
According to the Washington Post, this extra six months of Secret Service protection cost taxpayers at least $1.7 million. In June taxpayers spent more than $52,000 to guard Mnuchin, a multimillionaire, on a business trip to Israel and Qatar.
The Secret Service spent about $347,000 on airfare, hotels and rental cars while protecting Ivanka Trump and her husband, former White House adviser Jared Kushner, the records show. The receipts showed the pair visiting resort destinations: Hawaii, Utah ski country, an upscale Wyoming ranch and Kiawah Island, S.C.
Note that Congress – both Democrats and Republicans – appear to care not.
Watchdog journalism matters but it’s up to citizens to act.
Known for gnawing at complex questions like a terrier with a bone. Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill, wiredpen.com