March 28, 2017

Government Watchdog to Conduct Review of Security and Costs at Mar-a-Lago

Warren, Whitehouse, Udall and Cummings Requested GAO Investigation of President Trump's Security Procedures and Taxpayer Funded Travel at "Winter White House"

Text of the letter from GAO here (PDF)

Washington, D.C. - The Government Accountability Office has initiated a review requested by U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), and Representative Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, into President Trump's security procedures and taxpayer-funded travel costs at Mar-a-Lago resort.

Last month, the Members of Congress raised concerns following an incident in which "the President [and] his staff ... discussed national security matters on ‘full view to diners' and reviewed potentially sensitive national security material in apparent violation of security protocols." They also raised concerns about the expenditure of taxpayer funds at Mar-A-Lago. The Members of Congress requested that the GAO provide "recommendations necessary to ensure that the President and his staff avoid violating national security protocols in the future, and ensure that taxpayer funds are used appropriately when the president travels to his private club."

In a letter confirming that they will conduct the investigation, the GAO said the review will include how the President's communications and classified information are secured while traveling, including whether a secure space for classified communications has been established at Mar-a-Lago, as well as what, if any, security measures are employed by the Secret Service to screen staff and guests at the resort. In addition, the GAO will review what measures, if any, "the Secret Service and the Department of Defense have in place to ensure charges for travel-related expenses in connection with providing protection for presidential trips to Mar-a-Lago are fair and reasonable," and "whether the U.S. Treasury has received payments resulting from profits at the President's hotels."

To view the letter, click here.