As reported by the Washington Post (and by the Washington Post, I mean David Fahrenthold), the documents were compiled in response to a Public records lawsuit won by the Post earlier this year. In response, the State Department had promised to publish 300 pages on Thursday. Instead, they sent the post office two (2) pages. These two sides: "the proceeds from a single hotel bill from Trump's Irish golf course, which includes security for Trump's daughter-in-law and campaign advisor Lara Trump. "
That single bill is a slap in the face for both the public and the whole idea of transparency. However, it is also a reminder of the range of documents the State Department has regarding Trump. It's not just Donald Trump and his massive entourage who compose six-figure bills every day when they're parked on one of his lots. The entire extended first family also travels for the taxpayer's penny, with those pennies often routed straight home by ensuring that they – and their advisors, assistants, and security guards – stay in Trump homes.
The State Department also often takes on the tab for foreign dignitaries when they are in the US, and of course they also pay the bill when Mike Pompeo or one of the department's 13,000 employees is out. How much of that money is going back to Trump? We just don't know.
We know Trump never misses the opportunity to replenish his own accounts. The man who went out of his way to cash a check for $ 0.13 raised room rates by 60% during the Republican Convention … and that was just a virtual convention. The prices that anyone walking into a Trump hotel might face seem amazingly fluid. Prices in December 2019 jumped 13x normal when Trump transferred money from a campaign event to his personal accounts. A hotel room that normally cost $ 500 was jacked up $ 6,719 that night for Trump to maximize his revenue.
How much has Trump played this game with government visitors and charged them past the highest dollar to maximize profit from his position? It's unclear, but based on the contracts between the Trump Organization and the Secret Service, it's clear that he doesn't give anyone a discount.
The Post had previously identified $ 1.2 million in government dollars, largely brought in through the trips of Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric to Trump hotels. That includes $ 245,000 from the Secret Service alone. To see exactly how much Trump benefits from being able to tell all government officials when they are traveling, where to stay and how much to pay, more transparency is needed. Which is not forthcoming.
The State Department should hand over the documents in two batches, one on Thursday and the second on November 16 … two weeks after the election.
Apparently, the individual receipt that was handed over now counts as the first "batch". And if you're waiting to see what's in the rest, you can't expect it to arrive in November. Or another date.