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Donald Trump to pay for White House tours

Donald Trump appears in a promotional photo for 'The Apprentice'. (Photo courtesy of NBC)

March 11, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Donald Trump says he will pay to keep the White House tours running for the rest of the fiscal year.

The Obama administration canceled the tours last Friday due to the sequestration budget cuts.

The tours, which cost $74,000 for a 40-hour week, have become a political flashpoint along with the rest of the budget battle.

Presidential press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday that the Secret Service needs to make unfortunate trade-offs like all federal agencies, and its options included canceling tours, furloughing staff or cutting overtime.

Trump says he thinks the tours were canceled to prove a political point. Last week, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested that Trump offer to cover the cost.

Trump says he hadn't heard the suggestion.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.