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U.S. Secret Service spent $254,000 at Trump properties in first five months of presidency

New book describes Trump as an "amateur"

The U.S. Secret Service spent more than $250,000 at properties owned by President Trump in the first five months of his presidency, according to new documents.

Obtained by the government watchdog group Property of the People through the Freedom of Information Act, the records show that from January 27 to June 9, 2017, the Secret Service racked up $254,000 in expenditures at Mr. Trump's golf clubs and hotels.

The documents do not specify what was purchased by the Secret Service during the visits. A Secret Service spokesperson said "for operational security reasons, the Secret Service does not discuss our protectees or our protective means and methods."

Most of the money was spent at Mr. Trump's golf clubs in the five-month span, though it's unclear which ones because they are all labeled "Trump National Golf Club."

The Secret Service spent more than $35,000 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., located just down the road from the White House. The property is currently at the center of numerous lawsuits challenging whether Mr. Trump is violating the Constitution's emoluments clause through his continued financial interest in the hotel.

The foreign emoluments clause bars the president from accepting gifts or money from foreign governments, while the domestic emoluments clause prohibits the president from profiting off the U.S. government. Mr. Trump has called the emoluments clauses "phony."

The Secret Service also spent more than $45,000 at Mr. Trump's hotel in Las Vegas from January to June 2017.

The documents from Property of the People are likely to raise further questions among the president's critics as to whether he has been using the presidency to line his pockets.

Mr. Trump did not fully divest from his company when he assumed the presidency and instead turned over day-to-day management of the Trump Organization to his two eldest sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric.

Since his inauguration in January 2017, Mr. Trump has spent more than 300 days at properties owned or managed by the Trump Organization. The president has spent the most time at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, which he calls the Winter White House, followed by his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

In addition to vacationing at his properties, Mr. Trump held a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago in April 2017 and planned to host next year's G-7 summit at his golf resort in Doral, Florida. The president, however, quickly reversed the decision after receiving pushback from Republicans and Democrats alike.

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