Trump Bilked The Government For $17 Million In ‘Repairs’ During Hurricane Wilma

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As Hurricane Harvey tore through Texas, Trump was tweeting his support for the survivors (along with some book recommendations and a little racism). This reminded some of a similar hurricane in 2005, Wilma, that damaged his Mar-a-Lago resort. However, reports deny the extent of the damage he claimed.

The Sun-sentinel reported that Trump claimed $17 million in damages to his Mar-a-Lago resort. He asserted that most of the resort was damaged in the storm, but few who were present at the time remember it that way.

Trump said that he got the claim for “landscaping, roofing, walls, painting, leaks, artwork in the — you know, the great tapestries, tiles, Spanish tiles, the beach, the erosion.” But Anthony Senecal, his former butler, claimed that other than a few trees and a few roof tiles, nothing suffered real harm.

Senecal said, “That house has never been seriously damaged. I was there for all of them.”

Interestingly, two weeks after Hurricane Wilma, Trump hosted the wedding of his son, to which he invited 370 guests. The pictures of his son’s wedding don’t show any significant damage to the building. Now if he claimed $17 million, I doubt that damages to that extent could be fixed so soon.

The present cost of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is about $150 million. Trump built a 20,000 square foot ballroom at the resort for less than $6 million. We’re supposed to believe that Trump spent $17 million on repairs?

Interestingly, the Palm Beach Building Department records that re-building permits were only requested for fixing some outdoor lighting and a few more minor repairs. That would have cost no more than $3000. If he had to rebuild to the tune of $17 million, he sure didn’t see his way through the permitting process.

Tim Frank, the planning administrator at Palm Beach said, “If there were $17 million dollars of damage, we sure as hell would have known about that. I would have known if there was anything in the magnitude of $100,000.”

Trump wasn’t building anything except his reputation as a liar and a cheat.


Featured image via Wikimedia Commons

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