American taxpayers paid $54,000 to make sure Donald Trump’s New Year’s Eve party at his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort has the best tents — even if he never gets to see them.
While the president has vowed to remain in Washington as the government shutdown continues, his swanky party at the Florida resort will go on regardless. And, as Quartz reported, it will be funded in large part by American taxpayers. The news outlet found expenses for the party on government spending records, showing that a little more than $54,000 went to a tent rental company from Delray Beach, Florida, which confirmed that it was for Trump’s New Year’s Eve party. The purchase was officially made by the U.S. Secret Service, which is in charge of security arrangements when Trump travels to his resort.
Donald Trump’s exclusive New Year’s Eve party came under fire last year, especially after taxpayers picked up a bill of more than $26,000 for renting lights, generators, tables, and tents at the soiree. Trump has also cashed in big since becoming president, the Press Herald reported. Ticket prices for the party jumped by 25 percent, reaching $1,000 for those who are not members of Mar-a-Lago. Members will still have to pay $650 to attend, which is on top of the club’s $200,000 initiation fee, which doubled the year Trump became president.
As CNBC reported, Trump has come under fire for using his presidency to make more revenue off the resort’s membership.
“This type of naked profiteering off of a government office is what I would expect from King Louis XVI or his modern kleptocratic equivalents, not an American president,” said Norm Eisen, former White House ethics lawyer under Barack Obama.
Trump has also been slammed for his lack of action in the face of a government shutdown that has now lasted more than a week. Though Trump initially indicated to congressional leaders that he would sign a temporary funding measure to keep the government open, he abruptly changed course and demanded that any bill included funding for a border wall. With Democrats taking control of Congress in a matter of days, there appears to be no end in sight for the shutdown.
Whether or not Trump ultimately decides to party on New Year’s Eve at his Mar-a-Lago golf resort, taxpayers have already paid $54,000 for tents for the bash. That’s as hundreds of thousands of federal workers are out of work thanks to the #TrumpShutdown. https://t.co/bfOABYh2C8— Jon Cooper (@joncoopertweets) December 29, 2018
After spending Christmas at the White House instead of traveling to Mar-a-Lago, where he had planned to take a 16-day vacation, Donald Trump will also remain in Washington as the calendar turns to 2019 as well. Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney confirmed that Trump would not be traveling to the party at Mar-a-Lago, but instead will remain at the White House.
The taxpayer-funded tents will remain in Florida, however.