Despite his penchant for the spotlight, the publicly-funded post-presidential office of Donald Trump is remarkably unassuming.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, the enigmatic post-presidential office of Donald Trump operates in relative obscurity, a stark contrast to the former president’s affinity for self-promotion. Situated inconspicuously on North Flagler Drive, just a brief 10-minute drive from his Mar-a-Lago club, this taxpayer-funded establishment bears no visible Trump branding. Trump’s official website omits its address, and even the nameplate adorning the hallway remains devoid of any identifying information. The frosted-glass door bears no official or unofficial seal, and curiously, Trump’s spokesperson, Steven Cheung, disclaimed any knowledge of its existence when queried by NBC News.
Curiously nestled across from an IRS suite marked “criminal investigation” and one floor below a Secret Service outpost for Trump, the location of this clandestine office was confirmed by three sources. Funded under the Former Presidents Act by the federal General Services Administration, such post-presidential offices typically receive financial support for staffing. Nevertheless, some former presidents opt for low-key offices due to security concerns, in stark contrast to Bill Clinton’s high-profile Harlem office over two decades ago.
This particular office has recently come to attention for its involvement in Trump’s activities, particularly as he navigates the unprecedented terrain of simultaneously seeking a return to the White House after his 2020 election defeat. Reports suggest that it has housed classified materials and, at the behest of Trump’s legal team, was subjected to scrutiny by a private firm. Even long after this inspection, banker’s boxes were reportedly stacked against the walls and in the main room, hinting at ongoing activity and the enigmatic nature of its contents.
It remains unclear whether Trump personally utilized this office or is aware of its current status. In June, Trump faced federal charges in Miami related to the alleged unlawful possession and concealment of classified documents following his departure from the White House, but it’s uncertain what prosecutors may know about the office and its contents.
The unique confluence of Trump’s roles as a former president, a presidential candidate, and a defendant raises questions about the separation of his aides’ work. According to campaign finance records and individuals familiar with the office, several Trump aides employed by his Save America political action committee and his 2024 presidential campaign have worked in this post-presidential office since its inception two years ago. Notably, Cheung did not respond to inquiries about whether these aides, on Trump’s political payroll, receive compensation from the government or a private non-campaign entity for their work at the office.
While it is possible for individuals to divide their time between campaign and government roles, there are strict prohibitions against engaging in political activities during government work hours, especially within government-occupied spaces. The extent to which Trump’s aides maintain a clear demarcation between official duties and campaign-related tasks remains uncertain.
In the intricate world of former presidents, Trump’s case stands as an exceptional challenge, as he balances legal defense and presidential aspirations while his aides navigate their responsibilities, responding to correspondence from supporters and dignitaries.