Trump spends post-presidency allowance on high-priced aides as he builds out political machine - 2021-05-19
(CNN) Former President Donald Trump has spent his first five months away from Washington surrounded by a generously paid group of staffers, at least one of whom received a $32,000 raise over their White House salary, according to Freedom of Information Act records obtained by CNN.
As of May 12, the compensation for aides kept on by Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, who received about 20% of the $2.6 million sum available to both men in accordance with the Presidential Transaction Act, totaled $1.26 million. The lump sum for transition activities, which is managed by the General Services Administration during a former president's first six months out of office, is typically applied toward rent for a suitable office space, staff salaries and benefits, and printing and postage expenses.
In Trump's case, the bulk of the funds available to him have been used to pay several ex-White House staffers who remained by his side at his Mar-a-Lago estate in South Florida -- where he has been building out a post-presidential political machine -- before he relocated earlier this month to his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club , where he and his team will spend the summer. The FOIA records, which the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) shared with CNN, show that everyone from Trump's post-presidential communications director Dan Scavino and adviser Stephen Miller to an unidentified personal aide are receiving six-figure salaries.