Government watchdog to review Mar-a-Lago cost and security

The request was made by a group of senators.

ByABC News
March 28, 2017, 8:03 PM

— -- A top government watchdog plans to review security procedures at President Trump's exclusive Mar-a-Lago club and whether the U.S. Treasury has received payments from profits at Trump's hotels, according to a letter released by congressional Democrats.

In a letter to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan agency tasked with examining how the government spends taxpayer dollars, announced plans to investigate how classified information is protected when Trump is off White House grounds, and whether a secure space has been established at Mar-a-Lago for reviewing classified materials.

Warren and other Democrats, including Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, and Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, requested a GAO investigation last month after reports suggested that Trump discussed national security in front of the club’s dinner guests following a North Korean ballistic missile test.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer pushed back on the reports, telling reporters Trump was reviewing “logistics” for his upcoming press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who Trump hosted at the club on Saturday, Feb. 11. Other dinner guests posted pictures of the group reviewing documents to social media.

In the letter to members of Congress, the GAO also said it would review security screening measures for guests at Mar-a-Lago, how much it costs the Secret Service and Department of Defense to protect Trump in Palm Beach, and whether the president is sending any profits associated with his hotels to the U.S. Treasury.

Trump had promised to donate hotel profits to the Treasury before taking office.

Related Topics