Government watchdog to scrutinize security expenses of Trump's Mar-a-Lago trips

At their request, the Government Accountability Office said Tuesday it would investigate Trump's security procedures and taxpayer-funded travel costs at Mar-a-Lago, including "how the President's communications and classified information are secured while traveling, 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". Rep. Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, introduced the same legislation in the House.

Earlier this month, four senators wrote an official letter to President Trump demanding the publication of visitor logs in the White House. Access to the president has been limited and secretive, and Democratic lawmakers want to see published the routine comings and goings of those who seek Trump's ear, or the ear of his advisors.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-RI, among the bill's sponsors, says people should know who is paying for access to the president.

In this photo taken November 27, 2016, Mar-A Lago is seen from the media van window, in Palm Beach, Fla.

"If the Secret Service can't keep track of who has access to the president outside the White House then that's a national security concern", Udall told Politico. "If he won't adopt that policy himself, Congress should require it".

President Donald Trump's frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago are more than just a brazen conflict of interest or a crimp on the economy of Palm Beach, Florida.

"White House visitor logs help provide the American people with an important look at who is meeting with the President and his staff and a greater understanding of White House business", said Reed.

Sunlight Foundation Executive Director John Wonmderlick also released a statement regarding the proposal, saying "the Obama administration's voluntary online disclosure of the White House visitor logs provided the American public with a meaningful window into the influence and operations of the White House, despite its flaws". The White House has refused to respond to the lawmakers' various inquiries and calls for increased transparency.

It would also apply to other Trump Organization properties.

So far, Trump has visited Mar-a-Lago 5 times since the election, and plans to return next week to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping on April 6 and 7.

Latest News