The Department of Defense plans to rent a small space in Trump Tower, but a corruption watchdog says that government payments to the Trump Organization would mix business with politics.
“The space is necessary for the personnel and equipment who will support the POTUS at his residence in the building,” a Pentagon spokesperson told the Washington Post.
The DOD has occupied space in presidents’ private homes in the past, but what makes this case different is that it could be paying rent to a company owned by the President. Trump has so far resisted calls to cut ties to or sell his businesses, although he did formally place many of them in a trust controlled by his son, Donald Jr., and a Trump executive.
“I have never heard of a president charging rent to the DOD or any other part of the government so they can be near him on his travels,” said Richard Painter, a former White House lawyer who is currently involved in a lawsuit against Trump over his continued business entanglements. “He should give them for free a very limited amount of space and they can rent nearby if needed.” [WaPo] — Konrad Putzier