The U.S. government is paying a premium to protect President Trump, including what appears to be an above-market rate of more than $130,000 a month to lease a 3,475 square foot space in Trump Tower for a Department of Defense military office, the Wall Street Journal reports.* The government signed a $2.39 million 18-month lease in April for the space that, according to the General Services Administration, is not owned by the president or anyone within the Trump organization. The White House Military Office is used to provide a host of presidential support services, including access to the nuclear football, which must be provided within close proximity to the president. So far, since his inauguration, President Trump has not spent a single night in Trump Tower.
“The military’s lease in Trump Tower puts the space far above market rate for similarly sized apartments in the luxury high rise market and makes it one of the most expensive residential rentals in Manhattan,” according to the WSJ. “The most expensive Trump Tower listing recently was a 3,725 sq. ft., three-bedroom apartment on the 62nd floor. It was listed in the spring of 2016 for $50,000 a month unfurnished and $60,000 a month furnished, according to Streeteasy.com.”
The $2.39 million rental fee is a Department of Defense budget item, but multiple agencies have seen protection costs grow under Trump. “The Secret Service, for example, requested an additional $25.7 million in the 2018 budget to cover expenses associated with securing Trump Tower and the president’s ‘protective footprint’ in New York City,” according to the Journal.
*Correction, July 19, 2017: This post originally included an incorrect figure for the rent paid by the Department of Defense to lease space in Trump Tower; the monthly rent is more than $130,000 a month.