How Donald Trump Is Spending Taxpayer Money on Post-Presidential Offices

How Donald Trump Is Spending Taxpayer Money on Post-Presidential Offices

  • New documents show the inner workings of ex-president Donald Trump’s team.
  • Former White House aides Stephen Miller and Dan Scavino are still getting government salaries.
  • Trump’s staff is expensing printer toner and a floor mat for Trump’s chair.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

President Donald Trump’s advisor Stephen Miller lost his White House access on January 20, but he continues to pocket a government paycheck — and is slated to do so until late July, according to government records. 

Miller is one of at least 17 people who continued to receive taxpayer-funded salaries while working for Trump’s post-presidential transition office, according to government documents released to Insider under the Freedom of Information Act. 

Trump’s post-presidential staff is expected to receive about $1.3 million in federal salary and benefits between January 20 and July 21, when the formal presidential transition period ends, according to an estimate prepared by the General Services Administration. 

The documents include previously unreported details about how taxpayer cash is funding Trump’s post-presidential operation. They show which staffers are still working on his transition, where his team is located, and how they’re spending federal funds on everything from stationery engraved with Trump’s initials to a plastic floor mat for use under the former president’s desk chair. 

A law titled the Presidential Transition Act gives outgoing presidents and vice presidents government funding and facilities “for use in connection with winding up the affairs of his office.” The benefit lasts for about six months after a president leaves the White House.

Trump routinely boasted about rejecting his publicly funded presidential paycheck and donating his $400,000 annual salary each year that he was in office. Trump likewise could have rejected taxpayer money for his post-presidential operations but chose not to, the GSA records indicate.    

For Trump, accepting public money has meant employing 10 transition aides in Palm Beach, Florida — where Trump has been living since he left the White House — and another seven aides in an office building in Arlington, Virginia. The GSA redacted five of the staffers’ names in the documents provided to Insider.


Miller, a former White House advisor who crafted Trump’s immigration policies, has remained on Trump’s post-presidential transition staff, earning an annualized salary of $160,000, the documents show. 

For the period between January 20 and July 21, Miller is expected to earn a total of $107,704.11. The figure includes benefits. 

In addition to his taxpayer-funded job, Miller has launched America First Legal, a new conservative group that Miller said will fight “radical progressives” in court. Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and other former Trump administration officials, are also on the board of directors. 

Miller did not respond to a request for comment for this story. 

Dan Scavino, who served as deputy chief of staff in the Trump White House, also remains on Trump’s transition team as communications director, the documents show. 

Scavino is the highest paid staffer on the team, with an annual salary of $172,500, the maximum allowed, according to a GSA document. Scavino was expected to remain on staff through July. 

Both Miller and Scavino were among the highest-paid staffers and most trusted advisors in Trump’s White House. They each earned $183,000 annually in 2019. 

Other staffers in Trump’s Palm Beach office: Molly Michael, chief of staff; Nicholas Luna, deputy chief of staff for policy and personnel; Beau Harrison, deputy chief of staff for operations; Hayley D’Antuono, chief of staff to the former first lady; Marcia Kelly, advisor to the former first lady; and scheduling director Eliza Thurston. 

Read more: Donald Trump is ditching the spray tan, M&M’s, and even some extra pounds at home in Florida. Insiders say losing 20 pounds might convince him to run for president again.

Miller and other staffers are based in Arlington, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, the documents show. 

GSA set up a correspondence office for Trump and a transition office for former Vice President Mike Pence on the 12th floor of One Potomac Yard, a large office building in Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood. 

GSA did not respond to a request for comment about whether the Trump team is currently occupying that space. 

The Trump transition’s correspondence director, Desiree Thompson, is also based in Arlington, the records show. Former Trump White House staffer Ben Williamson, former campaign aide Ali Pardo, and former White House attorney Scott Gast were also Arlington based, but they appear to have left the transition team. Williamson and Pardo’s estimated end dates were February 27, and Gast’s estimated end date was April 1. 

The five names redacted from Trump’s outgoing transition staff list include two staffers to the former first lady, Melania Trump, and three people described as a “coordinator,” a “press assistant,” and a “personal aide.” 

donald trump mar-a-lago

Donald Trump at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, in 2019.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Engraved stationery and an OfficeMax floor mat

In addition to six-figure salaries, Trump’s team is charging taxpayers for decidedly pedestrian expenses, too — such as a $74.89 plastic floor mat to go under Trump’s desk chair. 

On February 12, Luna submitted a copy of his receipt for the mat — from an OfficeMax in West Palm Beach, Florida — to the GSA for reimbursement. 


One day earlier, a GSA employee agreed over email to place an order for four cartridges of printer toner for Trump’s team. Price tag: $397.56.

Harrison asked for $5,000 to be placed on Trump’s account on February 23. Earlier that month, Harrison sent an invoice to GSA asking them to purchase a stationery package for both Donald Trump and Melania Trump. 

The package included 46,250 cards — some engraved with their initials “DJT” and “MT” — for a total cost of $34,775.94.

Trump is separately continuing his political operation, which includes a pair of political action committees called Save America and Make America Great Again. 

Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller did not respond to a request for comment for this story. 

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