Trump’s White House Makeover Cost Taxpayers $1.75 Million


President Donald Trump, in true Donald Trump fashion, has racked up a $1.75 million bill while renovating the White House to suit his tastes.

NBC News reported Thursday that records from the General Services Administration (GSA) showed the president’s office spent that amount on furniture, rugs, wallpaper and other furnishings in his quest to renovate the 55,000-square-foot mansion and surrounding buildings. He even purchased a custom conference table made for President Richard Nixon in 1969.

It’s traditional for incoming presidents to update White House decor—in fact, first families usually receive a stipend of about $100,000 to make their surroundings more comfortable. But Trump’s expenses so far have topped the $1.5 million makeover the Obamas carried out, and largely funded, in 2009.

“There was an emphasis on bringing back the history to this building and the elegance,” deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in August, according to CNN.

The White House, which Trump allegedly once referred to as a “dump” and has also been described as “one of the most beautiful buildings [homes] I have ever seen,” underwent renovations to make much-needed repairs to its air conditioning system and infrastructure while the president went on vacation in August. Trump put up a flatscreen TV, hung a crystal chandelier and lined rooms with flags. He also selected a wallpaper design with sea scrolls, leaves and flowers.

“Renovations are grand,” he told TIME after GSA contractors redid the dining room. “Remember how hard they worked? They wanted to make me happy.”

Trump’s redecoration effort will likely be scrutinized, but his update wasn’t too far off from his predecessors’ efforts. The State Dining Room got fixed up under the Obamas in 2015 with new blue curtains, blue china and vintage-style chairs, according to The Washington Post. The project cost $590,000 and was funded by the White House Historical Association.

Every president brings something a little different to the White House. Franklin Roosevelt installed an indoor pool in 1933, and Gerald Ford requested an outdoor one in 1975. Nixon had workers build a privately funded one-lane bowling alley in 1969. Bill Clinton redid the kitchen in 1993 so he, first lady Hillary Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea, could have normal family dinners.

Still, for Trump, the White House is no New York City penthouse. Before Trump moved to Washington, D.C., he was staying in a three-story, $100-million pad overlooking Central Park. That almost all-gold apartment has columns, plush couches, Greek vases and a statue of Eros and Psyche, according to US Weekly.