The US Secret Service plans to spend almost $100,000 this summer on golf cart rentals in Bedminster, New Jersey. Bedminster is the home of the Trump International Golf Club, where the president has spent at least 58 days since taking office.
According to a recent entry in a federal spending database reviewed by Quartz, the Secret Service allocated $95,250 to rent “golf cars” between May 6 and Oct. 31:
When the latest purchase order is fully paid, it will bring Trump’s total golf cart rental expenses to almost $500,000 since he was sworn in.
The company supplying the carts, Associates Golf Car, is located in Poughkeepsie, New York. Its website says it serves New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. It also promises to “help you find your perfect ride!” Ann Marie Van Etten of Associates Golf Car declined to comment or provide further details.
The Secret Service told Quartz that for operational security reasons, it “cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means, methods, resources, costs, or numbers utilized to carry out our protective responsibilities.”
Secret Service agents follow Trump in the carts every time he plays golf—which he has now done at least 178 times, or a bit more than 20% of his days in office. As Quartz previously reported, all golf carts used by Trump’s security detail must be modified to go at least 19 mph, about 5 mph faster than a standard cart.
During the winter months, the agency paid $92,740 to a Delray Beach, Florida company near Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach to rent an unspecified number of golf carts, setting an apparent all-time record.
The rental cost of the taxpayer-funded golf carts in Bedminster could go higher still, based on past expenditures. Last year, the Secret Service allotted $60,000 for golf cart rentals to protect Trump while he summered at his resort, but ended up spending close to $120,000:
Golf cart rentals at Associates Golf Car run from about $750 to $1,200 per month, according to the company’s website. Lightly used demo models, meanwhile, are for sale from about $5,000 to $10,000, and brand-new models top out at a little more than $11,000.
The overall cost of Trump’s golf outings has so far set US taxpayers back just shy of $100 million, according to TrumpGolfCount.com, a site that tracks the cost of the president’s golf outings based on media reports.
Although he plays far more than his predecessor, Trump frequently lashed out at Obama during his time in office for hitting the links now and again:
Can you believe that,with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.Worse than Carter
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2014
Staff who have traveled to Bedminster with Trump have said he prefers to golf in the mornings. Trump’s clubs regularly stay open for business when he visits, alarming counterintelligence experts who say the properties are vulnerable to espionage.
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