Donald Trump claimed a $17 million insurance payday on his Mar-a-Lago property after a 2005 hurricane. But eyewitnesses told the Associated Press that the Palm Beach property never sustained close to $17 million in damages. "That house has never been seriously damaged," Trump's longtime butler Anthony Senecal told the AP of Mar-a-Lago hurricane history. "I was there for all of them."
Less than three weeks after Mar-a-Lago allegedly sustained $17 million in damages, the entire Trump family converged on the club to attend Donald Trump Jr.'s wedding there. Photos from the event show the estate in good repair. Tim Frank, Palm Beach's planning administrator in 2005, told the AP that his office would have noticed $17 million in construction on the landmark property. "If there were $17 million dollars of damage, we sure as hell would have known about that," Frank said. "I would have known if there was anything in the magnitude of $100,000." Records also reveal that Trump did not file any large-scale construction permits on the property after the hurricane. It would have likely been illegal to conduct major repairs without a permit.
Trump has previously admitted to depositing some of the $17 million payout into his personal bank accounts, saying that his insurance policy did not require him to reinvest in the allegedly damaged property.