You might think Donald Trump was still president if you just got your news from his latest social media blog or from seeing him give speeches at weddings he wasn’t invited to. He thankfully is no longer in the White House however, the US continues to pay for Secret Service security for all of his adult children and their families. That’s why Jared Kushner, the former president’s son-in-law, spent almost $13,000 on a trip to the Middle East last month.
The State Department paid at least $12,950 for Ivanka Trump’s husband’s security detail to accompany him during a stay at The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi between May 5 and May 14, according to federal documents obtained by the Daily Beast. It’s unclear what Kushner was doing in Abu Dhabi, but chances are good that it had something to do with the “Abraham Accords Institute for Peace,” which he recently established after claiming to be able to resolve the Middle East conflict.
Yes, despite reading 25 books on the topic, it appears that Kushner failed to bring regional peace, which is surprising given that his “breakthrough” agreement, lauded as the Trump administration’s “biggest foreign policy achievement,” made little to no mention of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Or that one review of his plan read, “The authors of the plan clearly understand nothing.”
Although $13,000 may seem like a lot of money to pay for an extremely wealthy private citizen, it was a lot less than what taxpayers had to pay for Kushner’s last overseas trip as a first son-in-law, which cost taxpayers at least $24,335 in hotel costs alone, not including flights, local transportation, and meals, as well as salary and overtime for Kus. Or the sum the US is supposed to pay for the entire Trump family in the coming months.
Former administration officials like Jared and Ivanka, keeping their Secret Service protection after leaving office is “virtually unheard of,” just as it is highly unusual. For a president to provide 24-hour security to so many adult family members, especially those who take personal trips all over the world in addition to travel related to their work at the White House.
Trump family members took more than 4,500 trips between 2017 and 2019, according to government reports, requiring Secret Service assistance, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. For example, taxpayers spent more than $58,000 on room and board when Jared and Ivanka spent a weekend in the Dominican Republic in 2018.
Although Trump is said to have complained about Secret Service agents being too small or overweight for his taste, and Ivanka and Kushner declined to let their detail use their half-dozen toilets, other members of the Trump family showed a little more respect for the people protecting their lives. Like Vanessa Trump, who wisely traded Don Jr. for an agent, and Tiffany Trump, who allegedly dated one of hers, a charge she vehemently refutes.
During a trip to Israel, Kushner charged a $24,335 hotel bill to taxpayers in December of 2020.
Last year. Kushner led negotiations of the Abraham Accords, which was supposed to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. Kushner traveled in December to Jerusalem to lead an Israeli delegation on the first direct flight to Morocco since the two countries normalized their ties.
One of Trump’s former advisors, Jason Miller, defended the expenditure. “Jared Kushner was there to cement his 5th peace deal for Israel in 4 months. How much did John Kerry’s trips cost where he accomplished nothing?” Miller asked.
The expenditure was made public on a federal government website.
Richard Grenell, Trump’s former acting director of national intelligence wrote on Twitter that the hotel bill was “a small price to pay for multiple Historic peace deals.”