Taxpayers ‘foot $3,000 monthly bill for Ivanka Trump’s Secret Service toilet’

With no facilities at the Kushner family home, agents resorted to a porta-potty and trips to nearby protection details

The Kushner home since April 2017
The Kushner home since April 2017

Since September 2017, US taxpayers have been footing the bill for the monthly rent of a toilet for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s Secret Service detail, according to a report by The Washington Post.

Reportedly instructed not to use the bathrooms inside the family home in Washington, DC, agents spent months finding alternatives, including travelling some distance to use the bathroom.

Eventually, an agreement was struck with a neighbour of the Kushners to rent a basement studio, with a bathroom, for $3,000 per month — paid for by the federal government.

Prior to the rental agreement, agents had resorted to a portable toilet and the bathrooms of local restaurants. Agents are also said to have used the facilities designated to agents at the nearby home of the Obamas, and the not-so-nearby home of Vice President Mike Pence.

The Kushners rented the 5,000 square foot property in early 2017 for a reported $15,000 per month. The six-bedroom, six and half bathrooms property sits on a quiet residential street in the affluent Kalorama neighbourhood of the nation’s capital.

A White House spokesperson told the Post that the decision to not use the facilities inside the family home was that of the Secret Service.

Judd Deere said in an email to the paper that the Kushners made it clear that their home was open to the members of their detail and have a tremendous amount of respect for and gratitude towards the Secret Service.

A law enforcement official familiar with the situation disputes that account, saying it was the decision of the Kushners.

The Secret Service says that it “does not discuss the means, methods or resources utilised to carry out our protective mission”.

With most people under government protection inhabiting large properties, agents are usually designated an outbuilding, garage, or similar, with appropriate facilities from which to base themselves. The trouble at the Kushner residence is unusual given the size of the property.

Relations with the neighbours have been fraught since the Kushners moved into the area largely populated by people who detest the Trump administration. The presence of the portable toilet on the sidewalk outside the house became a particular point of complaint.

The arrangement with the Obama security detail was short-lived after an “unpleasant mess” was left in the bathroom at the command post in the garage of that home. Two-mile round trips to the Pence residence then followed.

It was at this point that the Secret Service approached Kay Kendall, owner of a neighbouring house rented to Connecticut congressman Toby Moffett Jr. A deal was struck reducing the lawmaker’s rent and carving off the basement level with its separate access, for the security detail.

General Services Administration records list the lease on the basement expiring in September 2021, at which point the federal government will have paid $144,000 in rent.

It is not known if or when the Kushners may depart Washington, but they have recently purchased land in Florida on which to build a house, and are renovating a property on the Trump golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

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