US authorities have said that expenditure on his week-long stay was incurred by the government, despite him qualifying it as a business trip.
New Delhi: Donald Trump Jr, son of the US President, has come under the scanner for his India visit in February during which he endorsed his luxury residence project — the Trump Towers. US authorities have said that expenditure on his week-long stay, which cost around Rs 20 lakh ($32,000), was incurred by the government, despite him qualifying it as a business trip.
“I’m here as a businessman…I’m not representing anyone,” Trump Jr had said during his stay in India. However, according to the General Services Administration purchase orders reviewed by The Washington Post, the US government has had to pay the price for Trump Jr’s business ambitions.
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It spent around Rs 10.5 lakh ($15,166) for hotel rooms for Trump Jr and his entourage in Mumbai, besides an additional around Rs 2 lakh ($3,501), while their hotel stays in Pune cost the US around Rs 9 lakh ($13,468). This alone came up to Rs 20 lakh ($32,000).
According to purchase orders, expenses were also incurred in Kolkata which amounted to $9,880 – this was categorised under “VIP visit”. However, when the Post enquired from the US Consulate in Kolkata who this VIP guest was, it remained tight-lipped on the matter. The payments made during his visit in Gurugram remained unclear as well.
Beside meeting investors, buyers and business dealers, Trump Jr was seen promoting his luxurious estate property in an equally lavish manner. National daily newspapers displayed front-page ads that read “Trump has arrived. Have you?” and invited prospective buyers to reserve rental units at the Trump-Towers, Gurugram for $38,000 in exchange for dinner with the US President’s son. These ads alone fetched Trump Towers an investment of $15 million in one day.
The lavish publicity raised alarm bells. When the US Secret Service enquired about the cost of Trump Jr’s India visit, they refused to comment on the same due to security reasons. However, this week, the vice-chairman of the San Francisco Ethics Commission Quentin L. Kopp, filed a lawsuit against the Secret Service in a US federal law court for failing to comply with the ‘Freedom of Information Act’ request, as they refused to provide details of the cost of Trump Jr’s India trip.
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Trump Jr’s extravagant spending on taxpayers’ money comes in the wake of a recent revelation that more than $200,000 of American citizens’ tax money was used to arrange security and accommodation for Eric and Donald Trump Jr’s business trip to Dubai for opening a luxury golf club.