The Secret Service is spending nearly $35,000 to rent portable toilets for the next four months in Bedminster, New Jersey—where former President Donald Trump is reportedly summering—according to federal procurement data reviewed by The Daily Beast.
“BATHROOM TRAILERS BEDMINSTER,” the expenditure states. “A NOTICE TO PROCEED WAS GIVEN ON MAY 24, 2021.” The contract will run through Sept. 30, which works out to rental costs of about $8,500 per month. Imperial Restrooms of Saugerties, New York, is supplying the rolling commodes.
Trump moved in late May from his winter digs at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, to his Bedminster golf club, sources told CNN. He will reside there until early fall, the outlet reported, citing a senior member of Trump’s team. On May 22, Trump appeared at a fundraiser at the Bedminster club for Make America Great Again Action, a pro-Trump super PAC run by former campaign manager and longtime adviser Corey Lewandowski. Tickets for the dinner and reception reportedly started at $250,000.
“Even now, taxpayers continue to spend many thousands of dollars to facilitate Donald Trump's businesses,” Noah Bookbinder, executive director of watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and a former federal prosecutor, told The Daily Beast. “He is of course entitled to protection, but from the beginning, it has been about his advancement and convenience, rather than what is good for the country. Forcing taxpayers to spend all of this money for porta potties at a business that surely has sufficient bathrooms is confounding.”
The Secret Service did not respond to a request for comment by The Daily Beast.
During his time in office, Trump’s large family and their frequent travel put an unprecedented financial burden on the Secret Service, which in 2017 ran out of money to pay its agents. Ordinarily, a former president’s adult children are no longer entitled to Secret Service protection. But before leaving office, Trump quietly ordered an additional six months of security beyond his term for 13 members of his family and at least three Trump appointees: ex-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, ex-National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, and Steven Mnuchin, an investment banker who has come under fire in the past for lavish travel spending on the taxpayer dime. In the first month after leaving the White House, Trump’s adult children cost taxpayers more than $140,000 in travel costs linked to their Secret Service details.
In 2017, Imperial Restrooms, which says it offers clients “an upscale, portable restroom experience,” was tapped for a three-week bathroom rental at Bedminster, costing taxpayers $7,100. The company has been awarded about $1.2 million in U.S. government contracts over the past four years.
After Trump was elected in 2016, controversy over pricey bathroom leases began to follow the president’s family like an unpleasant odor. When First Daughter Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner moved into their new home in Washington, D.C., the Secret Service agents assigned to protect them were told the half-dozen bathrooms inside the couple’s house were off-limits to them. Instead, American taxpayers were forced to spend $3,000 per month—more than $100,000, in all—to rent a nearby studio apartment so agents could use its bathroom during their shifts.
A few days after the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, during which a pro-Trump mob overran the building in an attempt to disrupt the certification of now-President Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, the PGA canceled plans to hold its 2022 championship at Trump Bedminster.
“It has become clear that conducting the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand, it would put at risk the PGA’s ability to deliver our many programs, and sustain the longevity of our mission,” PGA president Jim Richerson said in a statement at the time. “It was a decision made to ensure that PGA of America and the PGA Professionals can continue to lead and grow our great game for decades to come.”
The Trump Organization promptly hit back at the PGA’s decision, saying it had “no right” to terminate the contract.
Of the $35,000 price tag to rent toilets at Bedminster, Craig Holman of D.C. nonprofit Public Citizen told The Daily Beast, “He is all about charging the highest prices and even fleecing customers and clients. Those who Trump does business with are simply following his model.”