The relationship between GSA and the hotel has drawn concern from ethics experts. The agency manages federal buildings and land, including the historical Old Post Office building housing the Trump hotel. As a result, the GSA is tasked with protecting taxpayers’ interests under a 60-year lease agreement. At the same time, the executive branch has considerable sway over the head of the GSA, which “shall perform functions subject to the direction and control of the President,” according to US law. That arrangement gives the tenant effective control over the landlord.
In addition to the GSA, multiple other federal agencies have paid Trump companies for lodging or services since Trump’s inauguration.
CNN previously reported that the US Secret Service paid the Mar-a-Lago Club $63,700 between roughly February and April of 2017. The payments were categorized as hotel costs on government expense forms.