For a private club whose owner boasts the property offers the best of everything, Mar-a-Lago’s security systems apparently aren’t quite up to par. A $580,600 Secret Service contract awarded in August to a construction contractor based in Arkansas states its purpose is “TO PROVIDE MAR-A-LAGO WITH A PHYSICAL SECURITY BUILD-OUT UPGRADE,” according to federal procurement records. The contract goes through July 28, 2022, and was awarded without a competitive bidding process; the cost, naturally, will be borne by U.S. taxpayers.
Since leaving office earlier this year, former President Donald Trump has charged the Secret Service more than $40,000 for a room at Mar-a-Lago that his protective detail can use, or nearly $400 per night from Jan. 20 through at least April 30. Although his family lost their Secret Service protection in July, ex-presidents keep theirs for life. Trump’s gaudy hideaway has been criticized in recent years for its shoddy defenses against everything from intruders to malware to spies.