About four weeks before Donald Trump vacated the White House to make way for President Joe Biden, presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner jetted off on his last official trip to Israel—and U.S. taxpayers are on the hook for $24,335 in room and board.
“KUSHNER VISIT DEC 2020,” the expenditure is marked, which is filed under the category “Accommodation and Food Services” in a publicly available spending database maintained by the federal government.
While there, Kushner visited the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, which Trump ordered relocated from Tel Aviv in a contentious 2018 move, for a ceremony in which the compound’s courtyard was named in his honor.
“Jared Kushner was there to cement his 5th peace deal for Israel in 4 months. How much did John Kerry’s trips cost where he accomplished nothing?” Trump senior adviser Jason Miller told The Daily Beast.
Ric Grenell, a former director of national intelligence under Trump, added in a tweet, “incredibly small price to pay for multiple Historic peace deals.”
A week after Kushner’s trip to Israel, his family’s real estate business filed papers with Israeli regulators indicating it planned to raise some $100 million in capital by selling bonds on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. While there was no explicit link between the trip and the bond filing, Kushner has been accused from his first day in government of allowing his personal interests to influence his actions as a White House official, and vice versa. During his four-year stint as a senior adviser to his father-in-law, Kushner ran up other hefty travel bills on the taxpayer dime. When he and wife Ivanka jetted off on a luxury weekend getaway to the Dominican Republic in 2018, more than $58,000 in public funds were spent on room and board for the couple’s security detail.
While all the Trumps had a taste for travel, some of the biggest bills were run up by former First Lady Melania Trump—who billed herself as running a “lean” East Wing operation. On a 2018 swing through Africa, she spent the day in Cairo and ran up a hotel bill of more than $90,000 without even staying the night. A year earlier, the first lady managed to spend $174,000 on hotels during a day trip to Toronto.