The U.S. Defense Department is preparing to lease out a privately owned apartment in Trump Tower to store President Trump’s nuclear “football,” the device that holds the nuclear codes, Reuters reported late Friday. Citing a letter from the Pentagon to Representative Jackie Speier, a Democrat on the House Armed Services and intelligence committees, the report said the Defense Department has stressed that the move would not financially benefit Trump in any way. “We are not aware of any means through which the President would personally benefit from a Government lease of this space,” Defense Department official James MacStravic was cited as saying in the letter. The letter also said the deal was “typical of support provided” to former U.S. presidents at their residences, though it’s not clear if this would be the first time the Defense Department is storing classified information on that scale outside the White House. The move comes amid concerns about Trump’s potential conflict of interest in conducting business at his properties – both in terms of the financial benefit to him and the safety of classified information. The Government Accountability Office has already begun a review of one high-profile incident in which Trump reviewed classified information with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while surrounded by guests at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Miami Beach in February. No further details on the cost of the lease or the owners of the apartment have been released.
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