- US taxpayers paid for $US1,000 of luxury booze drunk by White House aides at Mar-a-Lago, State Department emails obtained by a pro-transparency group show.
- Staffers retired to the Library Bar after Donald Trump’s meeting with Xi Jinping on April 7, 2017 and poured 54 drinks worth $US838 plus service, a Mar-a-Lago receipt shows.
- The receipt totalled 22 Chopin vodkas, 16 Patron and 10 Don Julio Blanco tequilas, and 6 Woodford Reserve bourbons.
- They left without paying, Mar-a-Lago’s catering manager wrote, so a bill was sent to the State Department, which forwarded it to The White House to pay.
- The emails were obtained by pro-transparency group Property of the People as part of a lawsuit against the federal government, and released by ProPublica.
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The reported incident happened while Trump and his team were staying at Mar-a-Lago for two days during the president’s meeting with Xi Jinping in April 2017. Trump staffers retired to the resort’s Library Bar after discussions ended.
Aides told the barman to leave so they could talk privately, and began pouring their own drinks, Brooke Watson, Mar-a-Lago’s catering director, wrote in an email to the State Department in June 2017.
“They asked the bartender to leave so they could speak confidentially and Secret Service did not allow the bartender to enter the room again. The group served themselves.”
According to the bar-tab, seen by Property of the People and published by ProPublica, the group had 54 drinks worth $US838. The bill totalled $US1,076, including a 20% service charge.
The aides left without paying, Watson said.
The drinkers enjoyed $US352 of Chopin vodka, $US240 of Patron and $US150 of Don Julio Blanco tequila, and $US96 of Woodford Reserve bourbon, the receipt shows.
The Library Bar is famously decorated with a painting of a young Trump in tennis whites, titled “The Visionary.“
ProPublica, citing evidence from the lawsuit, said the bill first arrived at the US State Department which then passed it on to The White House, which paid the tab.
The emails were obtained via a Freedom of Information request and comprise part of an ongoing lawsuit and investigation into the business relationship between Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago and The White House by Property of the People.
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