Ivanka Trump’s car rentals help push the administration’s Davos travel costs past $4 million

Ivanka Trumps international travel is costing taxpayers dearly.
Ivanka Trumps international travel is costing taxpayers dearly.
Image: AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
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Vehicles rented by the US Secret Service to shuttle Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and advisor, around Davos will add another $34,000 to the cost of the administration’s two-day trip to this year’s World Economic Forum, helping nudge the total price tag past $4 million.

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The expenditure is posted to a publicly-accessible federal database under the heading, “WEF2020 USSS MARVEL RENTAL OF VEHICLES,” using Ivanka’s Secret Service code name. All payments are being picked up by taxpayers through the State Department budget.

Additional rental car expenses in Davos include $736,000 by the White House travel office, and two more hotel bookings for the president’s entourage—one for $286,000, and one for $29,000—have now combined to make Team Trump’s two-day jaunt to Davos the priciest yet.

The total does not include security costs, salaries, or the estimated $2.2 million necessary to fly Air Force One round-trip between the US and Zurich and the Marine One helicopter flight from Zurich to Davos.

Last year, Trump abruptly canceled his trip to Davos at the last minute amid a partial government shutdown. Those travel costs were set to hit $3.6 million but still set Americans back around $3.2 million in unused hotel rooms and rental cars.

This is Trump’s second visit to the exclusive gathering, having never been invited as a private citizen. His first trip to the WEF, in 2018, cost a bit more than $1.8 million for lodging both in and around Davos, and at the Zurich airport Radisson Blu.

The final tally for the Davos trip may be higher still; there is often a lag of weeks or months from officials spending money to filing a record of the charges. Conversely, some expenditures may also later be revised to levels lower that originally stated.

A 2018 vacation Ivanka took to the Dominican Republic cost Americans nearly $60,000, and raised ethics questions about the Trump Organization’s business ties to the island.

President Trump, who delivered the WEF’s keynote speech on Tuesday, was booed by the crowd after decrying the “nasty, mean, fake” press. Trump’s address included a “laundry list of his domestic accomplishments,” and a swipe at climate campaigners as “prophets of doom,” according to CNN. He did not take questions from WEF founder Klaus Schwab or members of the audience.

Cabinet officials attending Davos 2020 alongside Trump include Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, US trade representative Robert Lighthizer, labor secretary Eugene Scalia, and transportation secretary Elaine Chao. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and also an adviser to the president, is there too. (Kushner’s Secret Service code name is “Mechanic.”)

Before Trump, the only sitting US president to appear at Davos was Bill Clinton, who went in 2000, his final year in office. Ronald Reagan gave a number of speeches via video, and George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama skipped the forum altogether.