Paying to Protect the President
FARENTHOLD: I have my hand-drawn bar graph, which has been mocked by some, but I think is very compelling. And my list of what Trump org charges to Secret Service.
[PLUCKY, THEME-RELATED STRING MUSIC PLAYS]
MARRITZ: Who's mocking your hand-drawn bar graph?
FARENTHOLD: Yeah. People — people who don't know anything about good graphic design.
MARRITZ: And describe the bar graph for me. What does it say?
FARENTHOLD: Well, it’s — I drew it with a pen, and I have to use a straight edge, I use the side of an envelope to make a straight line. I'm trying to show people, as my knowledge grows, of how much total Trump has gotten from his own government. So I'm up to $471,000. That's just from the Secret Service, just in 2017.
And as the number of grows in the bar graph will grow and we may even end up exceeding the piece of paper that I'm on. I have no idea how big it's going to get.
[THEME MUSIC PLAYS]
MARRITZ: Hello, and welcome to Trump Inc., an open investigation from WNYC and ProPublica into the business of Trump. I'm Ilya Marritz.
Today, one of the most direct ways Donald Trump makes money from the presidency, told by a reporter with that hand-drawn bar graph and a mandate to follow public money flowing into Trump properties.
[THEME MUSIC OUT]
FARENTHOLD: This is something that people ask me all the time when they find out I covered the Trump organization. They say, “Well, what are we paying him? How much money is he getting from the taxpayers?”
[MUSIC COMES OUT OF NOWHERE, THEN SLOWLY, QUIETLY IN THE BACKGROUND]
FARENTHOLD: And I was just struck by how little we know.
I'm Dave Fahrenthold, and I write about the Trump organization for the Washington Post.
We cover the President's private businesses, but also the find the conflicts of interest and the potential conflicts of interest that they create when he's the President and the head of this business.
MARRITZ: Donald Trump makes $400,000 a year as President. But he’s pledged to give his salary back to the government — and it’s gone to agencies doing work like preserving Civil War sites, promoting STEM education, and fighting the opioid crisis. But because he's retained control of his own businesses, Donald Trump is profiting from the government in other, hard-to-track ways.
FARENTHOLD: What we do know comes basically sort of piecemeal through public records that have been released by various agencies in response to federal records requests, but it's extremely spotty — and most of it is old. Most of what we know comes from the year 2017, more than two years ago.
MARRITZ: Do you have a dollar figure for total taxpayer spending at Trump properties since Trump became President?
FARENTHOLD: Well, what I've got is a pretty preliminary number. We know of $471,000 payments from the Secret Service specifically to Trump. There's a lot more out there, that’s just the only spending that we've had the time to sort of total up. And again, that is just a little slice of time. It’s just from January 2017 to the beginning of 2018.
MARRITZ: Do you have any notion how much bigger it could be? [SORT OF LAUGHINGLY] Like, if we could see all of this spending: three times as much, ten times as much?
FARENTHOLD: Well, what we saw was just one agency over one year. I don't have any reason to believe that it's much less, you know … the next two years or since then have been any less, uh, expensive for the taxpayers. We just don't know.
One thing is important to say and all this is we've asked both the Secret Service and the Trump organization to give us the numbers. Right? I mean, I don't want to do this piecemeal. I'd rather have it all at once. And they haven't done it.
MARRITZ: You've been drilling down on one dataset in particular, which was obtained by this group called “Property of the People” last fall. They got it from the Secret Service and it shows payments from 2017 to the President's properties. And the reason it took you until now to report on what's in it is these records are actually kind of hard to decipher. Can you describe what the records are, and what you had to do to make sense of it?
FARENTHOLD: It is really maddening. And I — I don't mind saying that. So this is — this was something that — that this group “Property of the People” got only after suing and what the Secret Service gave them was records that were just from the first six months of 2017 and what they gave them was just a — a sheet of paper with columns on it.
And the columns were: date of the purchase, the name of the Trump property where the money was spent, and the amount of money spent. Nothing about which Trump property it was. In many cases, they said it was called “Trump National Golf Club,” of which there are 11. [MARRITZ LAUGHS] And they didn't say which one it was, and they said nothing about what they spent. Uh, and so we said, “Okay, well. This is terrible. This is, no — this is, no, not even a small step towards transparency, but it's all we have. So let's see what we can make out of this kind of Rosetta Stone.” And, uh, when we dove into it by, by looking at the numbers, looking for patterns in the numbers, looking at other records, um, we realized that there was a lot here and — and that many of the things that were in that sheet were sort of misleading. Many of the payments that were listed as “Trump National Golf Club” were actually payments to Mar-a-Lago, which is not a golf club. And so the more we looked into it, the more we could start to understand, “Oh, there's a little bit here,” but what you really learned was like, “Wow, this — you know, this is what we're getting for just the first six months of 2017.” There must be so much more that we haven't seen yet.
MARRITZ: So, like, for instance, you used the calculation of sales tax at a particular property to identify what state the expenditure was made in.
FARENTHOLD: I'm glad you asked about that, because it's one of the few times I've used math successfully in reporting. [LAUGHTER, THEN MUSIC PLAYS] Uh, so we, we looked at the expenditures on this list, and most of them are in round dollar amounts, but a few of them were not, a few of them had cents attached. And they were all to “Trump National Golf Club,” we didn't know where.
And so we started looking at those numbers and seeing if there are common factors among those numbers. You know, was there any sort of pattern, those numbers, that told you anything. And what we learned was that they were all factors of the number 1.06875, and we said, “Well, what the heck is 1.06875?” I could not figure out what — you know, that's not even — you know, it's more than two decimal places, so it wouldn't even be a charge. And finally I figured out. The sales tax in the state of New Jersey in this — in the year 2017 was 6.875%, so the reason that these numbers were factors of 1.06875 is it that they add New Jersey sales tax applied.
And once you saw that pattern, you could say, “Ah, these are payments to Bedminster, you know, what do they have in common? What are we buying at Bedminster?” And that was the start of uncovering the payments to Bedminster, which turned out to be the Trump was renting a cottage to the Secret Service for $17,000 a month.
Uh, that was the charge that was sort of obscured in this Secret Service list that we finally figured out what it was.
We also started to go back and look, “Okay, well — well, who else has gotten public records requests from the Secret Service that might match up to this?” And we found in the files of this group Judicial Watch that sued for Trump's travel records, we found some of the records from Mar-a-Lago. It started to explain a number pattern we saw in the Mar-a-Lago payments, which was, they were all in multiples of $650. What, 650? I couldn't figure it out what costs $650. It seemed too high to be the rate for a hotel room. But, indeed, it was the rate for a hotel room.
Uh, once we started looking at other documents from those same expenditures, you could start to match it up and say, “Okay, they were charging the Secret Service $650 per night per hotel room Mar-a-Lago.” That's why those payments were in those number patterns.
MARRITZ: Yeah, so that was really like in — I believe that number was in the headline of your story, um, and 650 bucks a night is certainly more than I want to pay for a hotel, but is —
FARENTHOLD: Treat yourself, Ilya, don’t sell yourself short.
MARRITZ: I think even when we stayed at the — at the Trump hotel in D.C., it costs a bit less than that. But we're talking Mar-a-Lago. It's a super nice resort.
There's like, you know, pools. There's the sea breezes. I think, like, a mini golf course and stuff like that. Um, so is 650 bucks a night — is that high?
FARENTHOLD: Well, it depends on what you're comparing it to. Uh, and I think if you, if you were — I were a Mar-a-Lago member renting a room for the night that in the high season, in the middle of winter, that might actually be a normal rate. The problem is the Trump organization had already told us — or we thought they had told us — they had already made a public claim about what they charge the government when Trump travels.
And they didn't say, “Well, we charge whatever we can get, or we, you know, we charge what Joe Blow next door would pay.” They said, “We charged only the cost of housekeeping.” What Eric Trump had said, particularly last year, was, “When my father travels to his properties, government officials stay there for free.”
ERIC TRUMP: This is one other thing that people don't ever kind of give us credit for. Anytime the government comes in, if my father travels, they stay at our properties for free, meaning, like, you know, cost for housekeeping, effectively, because you actually have to legally charge government something.
FARENTHOLD: And then he corrected himself to say, “Well, you know, or, like, cost of housekeeping.” And the dollar figure he used was 50 bucks. It costs 50 bucks to stay in a Trump hotel room if you're a government official.
ERIC TRUMP: So everywhere that he goes, if he stays at one of his places, the government actually spends — meaning, it saves a fortune because if they were to go to a hotel across the street, they'd be charging 500 bucks a night, whereas we charge them like, you know, 50 bucks right in there. They're there on property. He never gets credit for that.
FARENTHOLD: And so, you know, that that was the promise they had made. So, that, I think that's the important comparison point, is, it's not what they could get for these rooms. It's what they told us they were getting. It's the public promise they made before we knew the reality.
We've asked them for more since that story ran, but they haven't given it to us. The one comment they gave was, we provide these [PAUSE] rooms at cost. And so when we came back and was like, “Well, you know, how do you get to $650 of costs?” There was no response.
MARRITZ: I wonder [BRIEF PAUSE] if it's too soon to say whether government spending actually makes up a significant portion of income at a place like Bedminster or Mar-a-Lago. Given that the numbers are coming back — even the limited numbers that we have — they’re coming back pretty big. Could it be 5% of their yearly income? 10%, maybe more?
FARENTHOLD: [INHALING] We don't know enough yet to make that comparison, but I think you mentioned Bedminster, and that's a good example, because Bedminster gets a huge amount of money from the federal government. Again, we didn't know at all until we started this reporting.
It's a golf course, but it has a little sort of villas and cottages where people can stay. Trump has one of them. And the Secret Service rents a cottage near Trump's cottage. it's got three bedrooms. Looks nice enough. The rate that they are charged, the rate that we — the taxpayers — pay, is $17,000 per month.
And so, you ask, “Well, is that a lot for the town of Bedminster, New Jersey?” And yes, we looked at other people advertising houses going back to 2017 and the average rent people sought for three bedroom — plus houses — in Bedminster, New Jersey was, like, $3,400, and the highest rate we could find anybody asking for is $8,500, so Trump is charging twice that to the Secret Service to occupy this place.
[AFTER SOME QUIET, A DEEP PERCUSSIVE SOUND PLAYS]
MARRITZ: So, I was just sort of asking myself how to think about the numbers that you're digging up and one point of comparison for me is, political groups spending at Trump properties, which is disclosed because the FEC requires it on these quarterly and — and annual statements. And Open Secrets found last fall that more than $16 million had been spent by political groups and campaigns and such at Trump properties since 2016, which is obviously a lot, lot more than the government spending that we know about.
How should we think about what the political spending means, versus what, like, the taxpayer spending means? They're both kind of concerning, but in different ways.
FARENTHOLD: That's right. I — I think of the political spending as an interesting example of how much Trump has come to dominate the Republican party and how happily they pay fealty to him. They not only support him and work for him — they also do their best to give their donor’s money to Trump.
But, in that case, the moral question is different because those political campaigns obviously know where their money is going, and their donors know where their money's going, and if the donors didn't like the fact that their money was being given to Trump, they know now, and they could — you know, it's all voluntary. The donations are voluntary. The payments from the campaigns to Trump are all voluntary.
On the federal spending, the taxpayer spending to Trump? None of it's voluntary. You know? That's my money. It's your money. We didn't know this was happening. It's not only that Trump has control over this, he's paying our money to himself. But also that we weren't told. You could make the case that if they publicly advertise this and listed these things in public spending databases, and you and I knew about this from the beginning, you know, they might be able to make the argument that like, “Oh, well, the public knows and they're okay with it,” but we didn't know. They didn't tell us.
So there's a real moral distinction, I think, between the money he makes from Republican donors who do this, you know, knowingly and willingly, and the money he gets from taxpayers, which is totally involuntary, and where we trusted him as taxpayers to be a good steward of our money.
And if he's using it behind closed doors to pay himself, especially to pay himself at high rates, that, to me, is a fundamentally different thing, morally.
MARRITZ: Is the Secret Service reporting this information differently from how they would report payments to, like, the Waldorf Astoria or — or the Motel Six?
FARENTHOLD: Yes. Uh, as far as we can tell, if you look in government spending databases, they're supposed to report any transactions over $10,000, uh, to any vendor. And so if you look in the — in the spending databases, you'll see a bunch of other expenditures that have to do with Trump's travel. You see golf cart rentals, you see tent rentals, you see Port-a-Potty rentals. All cases where those services are going to Bedminster and Mar-a-Lago, but the actual vendor being paid is not Trump, it’s somebody else. You also see a lot of payments to other hotel chains. Hilton hotels, you know, whoever else where the agents stay.
You see no trace of this spending at Trump properties, and you don't see it in at Mar-a-Lago, where they're paying for hotel rooms, and you don't see it in Bedminster, where they're paying every month for a cottage. And, we’ve asked the Secret Service and the Trump org, you know, “Why isn't this stuff listed?” and we haven't gotten a response.
The only other recent Secret Service protectee who did anything like this is Joe Biden, who charged the Secret Service to rent a cottage in his house in Delaware. The difference there, um, there's two differences. One, Biden charged a lot less. It was only $2,200 a month. Um, so it's $171,000 total. So Trump surpassed that in a few months. But also, Biden put it in public spending databases, so you could look it up and see that he was a vendor to his own government, and people did! Biden got raked over the coals in conservative media for that.
Trump has done nothing like that. You — you know, in fact, the opposite. His — the only statements his company has made have been, uh, statements that they weren't getting — making any profit. They weren't charging high rates. Statements that don't seem to be accurate. So, you know, there’s — there should be some public disclosure of this and if there's not, you know, the public can't make a decision about whether they want this to continue happening.
[SLOW MUSIC PLAYS]
MARRITZ: The White House did not respond to The Post’s questions about Trump’s knowledge of these payments. In a statement, the Secret Service said its spending, quote, “balances operational security with judicious allocation of resources.” The Secret Service did not respond to to a question about why its spending at Trump properties was not listed in public databases.
Trump Inc. will be right back.
[ROCKY GUITAR MUSIC PLAYS, THEN FADES OUT]
MARRITZ: So let's pivot for a minute and talk about methods. You are a guy who is well known for doing your work on legal pads with ballpoint pens, and you like to tweet out images of your notes. Uh, and I like to get those tweets. I think it's really fun. [FARENTHOLD LAUGHS] And, uh, readers obviously do too. Are you still doing that on this project?
FARENTHOLD: Yes. Uh, we have — since we wrote our first story, we've been really open about the reporting process we're going through. So I've had note pads where I’ve — I've written down all the different rates we've learned that Trump org charged the Secret Service at various hotels in various years.
I think people just like to see that, because they like to see progress. They like to see how the story is growing and as they see my tweets go by, they see the piece of paper getting more filled out, they see the bar graph grow, then they go, “Oh yeah. You know, now it ties it all together.”
MARRITZ: This is, like, truly, how you do your work? It's not just stunt-y.
FARENTHOLD: No! One of the things that I think is so hard as a reporter now, and it's going to be even harder this year, in an election year, is just to keep people focused on a thing you're doing. Like, there's so much going on. I'm always trying to get people kind of a thread. If you're interested in what I'm doing, how can you follow the thread and, you know, grab onto it and follow it forward as I — as I learn more, but also follow it backward in time and see where this started and what I've learned already?
So I try to write content on stories online with that in mind. And if I catch your attention once, now you'll know how to go back and see where I came from.
MARRITZ: Before you hit publish, at some point, do you use, like, [CHUCKLING] a real spreadsheet?
FARENTHOLD: Yes, yes. We use a real spreadsheets. I mean, that's one of the challenges of this reporting now. So now I'm moving on from the Secret Service. We're also trying to add State Department spending at Trump properties, and there's actually been a lot released, in kind of weird, piecemeal fashion. So a lot of what I'm trying to do is just keep track of what's been released and to make sure I'm not double-counting things.
So yes, computer spreadsheets are much more useful for that than hand-drawn spreadsheets.
MARRITZ: So there's another new thing that you're doing, which is that the Washington Post recently hired a FOIA specialist. So tell me about how you're working together and what he's doing.
FARENTHOLD: It's made a huge difference for me. So Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] requests are a tool that any reporter can use. If you have, you know, one data or records or information from government agencies, you can send them this Freedom of Information Act request and they have to respond. I had had many years of trying to use this tool and many years of failing until we got — we hired this guy, Nate Jones, who is sort of a FOIA guru and he's helpful, not only in giving you the language to put in your letters so that your legal case is better, but also just an understanding of the dynamics of FOIA. And I really have been surprised by this. And one of the things that I've learned is that so often reporters send in requests, you know, “Show me all the transactions that you have made,” you know, “You, the Secret Service, have made between yourself and the Bedminster Golf Club between these dates.”
And they either get nothing back or they get a no-records response where the Secret Service says, ”So, we looked, and we can't find the records.” I always took that as kind of the end of the story. And, in fact, no, there's something like, you know, we call it a “Look Harder” appeal. If they say they can't find records, you're like, “No, no. Look again.”
FARENTHOLD: And you can say, “Look, you know, some people have already — you’ve already given records about this to somebody else.” And you'll be surprised at how, like, the first response to like, “Oh, we didn't find anything,” it seems like, in many cases, even when they say that when you appeal, they do find something.
MARRITZ: Can you tell me about some of the requests that you have out right now?
FARENTHOLD: Yeah, we — we are, uh, asking for, to, just, to the Secret Service for spending, uh, both, you know, updated accounts of spending as they did at Mar-a-Lago and at Bedminster, but also at other places Trump has gone, the Doral Golf Club, in Miami, his hotel in Chicago. Uh, and also trying to understand more about spending we know, but we haven't really learned the details yet. I mean, there's an incredible amount of spending at the Trump hotel in D.C., by the Secret Service. They — they appear to be renting rooms and paying tons and tons of money for room rentals. Which is insane, because Trump doesn't ever stay the night at his hotel in D.C., and because the Secret Service headquarters is in D.C. If there's any place in the world Secret Service does not need hotel rooms, it’s in Washington D.C., where their headquarters and almost all of their agents are based. So why are they spending all this money on hotel rooms at Trump's property? We know that they're doing it, but we don't know why and we don't know what rates are being charged. So I filed a couple of more FOIAs to try to figure out what, you know — what is behind this spending. All I know is the dates and the dollar amounts. I want the receipts!
[OMINOUS BACKGROUND MUSIC]
MARRITZ: Do you have a sense at this point, um, more than three years into Trump's Presidency — much interest, how much of an interest Donald Trump himself is now taking in his businesses, how they're doing?
FARENTHOLD: I don't really have that. I mean, obviously, he still owns his businesses, but he says he's given away day-to-day control to Eric Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., although Donald Trump, Jr. does not seem to be doing very much at all with the business these days. He’s basically a politician himself. You know, there — there are some important things happening with the Trump organization.
Some of their businesses like Doral and the Chicago hotel are doing quite badly. Their hotel in D.C. is actually up for sale, which — they don't really sell things, so it'd be one of the biggest transactions the company's done in many, many years. They say that, you know, they — that Trump doesn't have involvement in day-to-day decisions, but they've always left open the door that he would be asked about major decisions. So does anybody go to Donald Trump and say, should we sell the DC hotel? Should we accept this bid? I don't know. And I'd love to know the answer to the question, but I don't know.
MARRITZ: I want to ask you about something a little bit bigger-picture, and I keep thinking back on this story that we at Trump Inc. reported about a year ago on government spending at Mar-a-Lago, and this was focused on the State Department and a visit by China's leader, Xi Jinping. It was actually Derek Kravitz the reporter who, uh, used information obtained by Property of the People and sort of the sexy part of that story, it was about this thousand-dollar liquor bill, this bar bill for White House aides who evidently had a really fun night one night. Uh, so we learned that that can happen. But —
FARENTHOLD: I was just looking at that receipt actually.
MARRITZ: Yeah, so when the State Department couldn't or wouldn't pay that bill, the White House stepped in and they paid the bill.
Are you looking at White House spending? Is there even a way to look at White House spending at Trump properties?
FARENTHOLD: Uh, it is hard. I — we are looking at that and I have not really learned the limits of that yet. I’m looking at the State Department now, just because a lot of records already exist from the State Department, including the ones you referenced. But I'm not sure what else is gettable from the White House, but that is certainly on my list. And the bill you referenced, um, is it — an insane sort of thing, that the White House aides locked themselves up in a bar, kicked out the waitstaff, drank $1,000 worth of liquor, and then sent the bill to the government. [MARRITZ CHUCKLES]
I mean, when you hear that — like, just that episode alone — that nobody along the way was like, “Why don't we just pay for our own drinks? You know what do I as a taxpayer get out of you drinking like your third, you know, vodka? The — the idea that no one in the Trump organization or the Trump White House saw that and was like, “Why are we making the taxpayers pay for this? No matter which taxpayer bucket it comes out of, State Department, or White House, like that. Everyone was like, “Yeah, the taxpayer should definitely pay for these 17 shots of whatever vodka.” That shows you what you're dealing with. I think when you see that, you say, “Oh, okay, well, there's gotta be a lot more here.” If this is the sort of moral framework or lack thereof that they're applying to spending the taxpayer's money what — and what else is there that we don't know about?
[SOFT MARIMBA MUSIC]
MARRITZ: House Democrats recently sent a letter to the director of the Secret Service, and the first part of the letter is basically a recap of your recent story about how the Secret Service is paying what appear to be high rates for hotel rooms at Trump properties and other such expenses. And as I read the letter, I felt this rising indignation because even more than it's your job to figure this out, it's their job to get answers. It's Congress. Congress has oversight of federal agencies.
MARRITZ: Why have they been so ineffective in this realm?
FARENTHOLD: Well, uh, I think it's a much more difficult oversight challenge for them than it has been in the past. This is a situation where they are used to asking agencies for information and getting it — you know, if not right away, eventually. Because they have that oversight power and just ‘cause that's what you do.
At some point, this is kind of an honor system, but what I think we all learned, and Congress seems very slow to learn, is that President Trump uses honor systems to his advantage. He has always seen honor systems as kind of a head-start.
So this is another honor system that he’s just, you know — hasn’t complied with, and he's gotten a huge advantage. So his administration has not complied with requests from Congress, especially of the Democrats when they weren't in power, and now that they're in power, not really then either.
So that — that is a challenge the Democrats are dealing with. That said, Democrats have been — some of them, not all of them — have been very slow to sort of respond to that. I think of the committee that oversees the Trump hotel, which is owned by the U.S. government — Trump leases a government-owned building. They have gotten nothing from the government about what the Trump hotel makes, what they pay, anything about foreign customers — really anything. They’ve just gotten stonewalled. And the response is, like, two years later, like, “Well, we’re — we're going to send you the subpoena any day now.”
You know, when we asked them, “Well, you know, you fund these people, can't you just cut off their funding or tell them you’re gonna cut off their funding unless they give you the information you want?” It was like … speaking a foreign language. They didn't see that as a possibility at all. And I think until they apply that kind of power to Trump, he's not going to respect an honor system. He respects power, and they don't seem willing to do it.
MARRITZ: This is the project for you for 2020, to map public spending on Trump properties. What are your biggest unanswered questions? Especially the ones where your readers, or maybe our listeners can help.
FARENTHOLD: Oh, man, there are so many. I guess that what I'm looking for is sort of the full scope of the spending that he has directed from his government to his business and also his personal role in it. The biggest unanswered questions, I would say, would be, “Why is the Secret Service spending money at Trump's DC hotel? Who caused that?” You know, that doesn't make any sense with Secret Service protocol. “Why is it happening? How has Trump changed if he has changed his travel patterns, you know, because, these trips, make him money, and then, what role has he had in setting the rates for his own business?” You know, those are hard questions to answer, but there are people out there who know those answers.
And, you know, the — the frame I've tried to put on this coverage is, “Let's try to prove the Trump organization right.” Eric Trump said they charge just the cost of housekeeping. They charge just 50 bucks a room. Can I find any indication at all that that was ever true? Was that right, even one time?
So far, I haven't found it. But maybe that answer’s out there and people know that too, that there was a time he charged 50 bucks for a room. I want to know.
MARRITZ: Where do you like to receive tips?
FARENTHOLD: I would have people email me at email@example.com or find me on Twitter at @Fahrenthold.
MARRITZ: David, thank you so much. Always a pleasure to talk with you.
FARENTHOLD: Thanks, man.
[INTERVIEW ENDS, MUSIC RAMPS UP]
MARRITZ: David Fahrenthold is a reporter at The Washington Post covering the Trump family and its business interests.
You can learn a lot more from the world of Trump Inc. by subscribing to our newsletter — it’s where we share not only the latest episode, but links to what we’re reading, questions we’re curious about, and stories from behind-the-scenes. Sign up at TrumpIncPodcast.org. While you’re there, find out how to securely share tips about government spending at Trump properties, or anything else!
This episode was produced by Matt Collette and Alice Wilder and edited by Eric Umansky. Jared Paul does our sound design and original scoring. Hannis Brown wrote our theme and additional music. Special thanks to Linah Mohammad at The Washington Post’s daily news podcast, Post Reports.
Matt Collette is the executive producer of Trump Inc. Emily Botein is the Vice President for Original Programming at WNYC, and Stephen Engelberg is the Editor-in-Chief of ProPublica.
I’m Ilya Marritz, thank you for listening.
[MUSIC FADES OUT]
FARENTHOLD: Like, the night of my wedding, we stayed at a Ritz in Boston. That must've been expensive, and my wife's parents paid. [BOTH LAUGH] I don't know. I've never spent $650 on a hotel room, even close. I would definitely remember that.
MARRITZ: You're a very thorough guy.
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