On trips like these, Secret Service agents were there to protect Trump’s children. But, for the Trump family business, their visits also brought a hidden side benefit.

That’s because when Trump’s adult children visited Trump properties, Trump’s company charged the Secret Service for agents to come along. The president’s company billed the U.S. government hundreds, or thousands, of dollars for rooms agents used on each trip, as the agency sometimes booked multiple rooms or a multiroom rental cottage on the property

In this way, Trump’s adult children and their families have caused the U.S. government to spend at least $238,000 at Trump properties so far, according to Secret Service records obtained by The Washington Post.

Government ethics experts say that nothing is wrong with Trump’s children seeking protection from the Secret Service.

But, they said, the Trump Organization’s decision to charge for the agents’ rooms created a situation in which — just by traveling — Trump’s children could bring taxpayer money to their family’s business.

That, ethics experts said, could create the appearance that Trump family members were exploiting their publicly funded protection for private financial gain.

“Morally speaking, do they want to profit [from the fact] that their father’s in the White House?” said Scott Amey, of the watchdog group Project on Government Oversight. “They could very easily reimburse those expenses, so the federal government and the taxpayer are not on the hook for that tab.”

The Secret Service and the White House declined to comment for this article, as did Ivanka Trump — the president’s eldest daughter, who left the Trump Organization to work in government. The president’s other adult children — Eric, Donald Jr. and Tiffany — did not respond to requests for comment.

Eric Trump and Donald Jr. are said to run the Trump Organization day

a group of people sitting around a living room: President Donald Trump speaks to the press after talking to members of the military via teleconference from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

© MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
President Donald Trump speaks to the press after talking to members of the military via teleconference from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, on Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

  • Individuals, foreign governments, and lobbyists are spending big at Trump’s resorts and hotels and gaining from his administration, a New York Times investigation found. 
  • It found that 60 individuals had spent $12 million in Trump’s businesses and, in some form, saw their interests advanced by his administration. 
  • Trump won the election in 2016 pledging to “drain the swamp,” but is profiting from favor-seekers patronizing his hotels and resorts. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

More than 200 foreign governments, lobbying groups, and individuals spent money in President Donald Trump’s businesses and benefitted from his administration, a New York Times investigation found. 

It documents how foreign government officials, corporate executives, lobbyists, and attorneys patronized Trump businesses and were awarded lucrative federal contracts, ambassadorship, and appointments to federal task forces. Others secured legal changes. For some, the favor granted by the president was a tweet. 

According to the Times investigation, 60 individuals spent $12 million in Trump’s hotels and resorts, and “almost all saw their interests advanced, in some fashion, by the president or his government.” 

The Times based its report on interviews with 250 sources, including executives and lobbyists, members of his clubs and employees at his businesses, and former and current Trump administration officials. 

Individuals identified in the report told the Times that any advantages they had gained from the Trump administration were not linked to the patronage of his businesses. 

Trump won the presidency in 2016, pledging to “drain the swamp” of influence-peddling in Washington DC.

After winning the presidency, Trump stepped back from his business

As President Donald Trump fights to win battleground state Michigan, there is evidence that his tariff policies have hurt his chances. Steel and agriculture are important industries in the state and billions of dollars have been lost due to tariffs.

In March 2018, the Trump administration imposed a 25% tariff on steel in order to protect American steel mills from foreign competition. The tariffs decreased demand for steel from the auto industry and other consumers, hurting steel plants.

Great Lakes Works, one of the largest mills in Michigan, laid off 1,250 workers in June and shut down steelmaking operations. The plant is owned by Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel.

A Reuters analysis reveals that Michigan steelmakers have issued layoff notices to 2,000 workers since the tariffs were implemented. 

The trade war has also hurt Michigan farmers. When Trump announced new tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese imports in May 2019, some farmers spoke out against the move. 

“The noose is getting tighter,” president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association Jim Byrum told the Detroit Free Press that month. “We have lost market opportunities. We’re not shipping soybeans around the world like we normally would. We’re not shipping them to China. China was our biggest soybean consumer, and they’re not moving.”

The Agriculture Department launched the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) to help farmers in 2019. The program distributes payments to farmers negatively impacted by the trade war. 

A report by the Government Accountability Office published in September found Michigan farmers received less on average from the MFP than farmers in other states.

Tariffs Hurt the Heartland notes that Americans have paid over $60 billion in tariffs since the trade war began. In Michigan, more than $2 billion in tariffs have been paid by taxpayers while 1.1 million jobs in the state are supported by

  • Kamala Harris gave a blunt refresher on President Donald Trump’s finances early on in the vice-presidential debate Wednesday night.
  • “It would be really good to know who the president of the United States — the commander-in-chief — owes money to,” Harris said, referring to The New York Times’ investigation into Trump’s taxes that found him in debt for hundreds of millions of dollars in debt, $139 million of which he’s on the hook for within five years.
  • “Because the American people have a right to know what is influencing the president’s decisions, and is he making those decisions on the best interests of the American people — of you — or self-interest.”
  • “Just so everyone is clear, when we say in debt, it means you owe money to somebody” Harris said.
  • She also took a dig at Trump for how little he paid in federal income taxes.
  • “When I first heard about it, I literally said, ‘You mean $750,000?’ And it was like, no, $750.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California gave a plain-spoken assessment of President Donald Trump’s finances during Wednesday night’s debate, hitting Vice President Mike Pence over the lack of transparency when it comes to Trump’s debts.

Harris was referring to The New York Times’ investigation into Trump’s taxes, which found him mired hundreds of millions of dollars in debt obligations — $139 million of which he’s personally on the hook for within five years.

“We now know Donald Trump owes and is in debt for $400 million — and just so everyone is clear, when we say in debt, it means you owe money to somebody,” Harris said.

“Because the American people have a right to know what is influencing the president’s decisions, and

Today’s Big Picture

All eyes are on the White House to discern if a stimulus package is possible before the November election. If it doesn’t happen before then, it is highly unlikely that one would be passed prior to the arrival of the newly elected on Capitol Hill in early 2021, which would mean the economy is on its own for the next six months or so. Raising the stakes and adding to renewed concerns over the speed of the economy is the continued resurgence in the coronavirus, which has prompted New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to confirm that non-essential business will close certain hot spot zones of New York City.

The major equity indices in Asia recovered from their earlier losses to close mostly in the green today following late-night tweets from Trump that seemed to reverse course from his declaration yesterday that negotiations for a stimulus bill would be on hold until after the election. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 1.1%, Australia’s ASX 200 rose 1.3%, South Korea’s Kospi closed up 0.9%, while Japan’s Nikkei was mostly unchanged.

By midday trading, the main European equity indices were all in the red, albeit only slightly, while U.S. futures point to positive moves at the open after yesterday’s slide.

Data Download

International Economy

The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Services Index fell to 36.2 in September from 43.5 in the previous month, the tenth consecutive contraction in the services sector that was at a faster pace than in July as renewed coronavirus-induced restrictions weighed heavily on business activity.

Japan’s economy continues to show signs of improvement. The nation’s Coincident Index (preliminary) rose slightly to 79.4 from 78.4 in July. This was the highest reading since March for the index that consists of a range of data including factory