The U.S. Defense Department is finalizing a lease on a privately owned apartment in New York’s Trump Tower for the White House Military Office.
The White House Military Office is in charge of protecting the ‘nuclear football’ which contains the launch codes and can be used for when the president is traveling and not near a situation room.
The lease would not benefit the president financially, according to a letter Reuters saw from the Pentagon to Rep. Jackie Speier, a Democrat from California who is a member of the House Armed and Services Committee.
But some Democrats disagree.
‘I am concerned by the appearance that the President of the United States will financially benefit from this deal at the expense of the Department of Defense – and ultimately, taxpayers,’ Speier wrote to Defense Secretary James Mattis shortly after the Trump Tower issue became public in February.
By negotiating only with representatives of the owners of a private apartment, the Pentagon said it was seeking to avoid such concerns.
The Military Office carries and safeguards the ‘football,’ the device that contains the top secret launch codes the president needs to order a nuclear attack, as well as providing him secure communications wherever he is.