The Department of Defense is looking to rent space in President Trump’s Manhattan skyscraper, where his wife Melania and son Barron still reside, according to a published report.
The agency is “working through appropriate channels … to acquire a limited amount of leased space in Trump Tower,” Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. J.B. Brindle told the Washington Post.
“The space is necessary for the personnel and equipment who will support the POTUS at his residence in the building,” Brindle said.
It can cost about $1.5 million a year to rent a floor at Trump Tower, the Post pointed out.
The rental space will be separate from where the Secret Service detail are located.
Although officials have shacked up with past presidents at their homes, including Barack Obama’s Chicago residence, this situation is different because the rent money would go directly into Trump coffers.
“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 chief White House ethics counsel under George W. Bush who is part of a lawsuit accusing Trump of violating a constitutional ban for his continued ownership interest in a Washington hotel. “He should give them for free a very limited amount of space and they can rent nearby if needed.”