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Senators ask if U.S. paying to secure Trump property overseas

By Julia Harte

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three U.S. senators asked the secretaries of State, Defense and Homeland Security on Wednesday if they were spending government resources to secure President Donald Trump's properties around the world.

In a letter, the three Democrats also asked the cabinet members whether they had been asked by the Trump Organization to protect its properties, and whether extra funding would be requested to cover the costs.

Trump's continued ownership of the Trump Organization means the overseas properties are prime targets for terrorist attacks, which could directly impact Trump's net worth and potentially "lead the country into new conflicts around the globe," the senators wrote.

A State Department official, speaking on background, said that privately owned U.S. companies, such as the Trump Organization, are responsible for providing their own security for assets overseas.

The Department of Homeland Security declined to comment on the questions in the letter. The Pentagon did not respond to requests for comment.

Wednesday's letter was the latest in a stream of Congressional correspondence calling for greater transparency and voicing concern about Trump's hundreds of companies and potential conflicts of interest posed by his business empire.

The lawmakers who authored Wednesday's letter -- Senators Tom Udall, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Richard Blumenthal -- were among eight Democratic U.S. Senators who urged Trump and Secret Service Deputy Director William Callahan on Monday to release logs of visitors to the White House and Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

(Reporting by Julia Harte; Editing by Tom Brown)