Trump security costs are out of control and taxpayers are about to pay even more. The Secret Service is requesting an additional $60 million in funds to protect the first family over the next year. The money would cover travel and protection for President Trump, his wife, and the rest of his family.
A review of internal agency documents were published in the Washington Post, which broke down how much is needed throughout the year. Costs are attributed to the “unusually complicated lifestyle” of the Trump family, according to the report.
— People Magazine (@people) March 22, 2017
Documents show that almost half of the funds, $26.8 million, would pay for the security of President Trump’s family and penthouse home at Trump Tower in New York City; $33 million is calculated for travel expenses for “the president, vice president and other visiting heads of state.”
The Trump security costs are staggering for the Secret Service’s fiscal 2018 budget. Secret Service agents are tasked with protecting and traveling with President Trump’s large family as well as guarding First Lady Melania Trump and 11-year-old son Barron in New York.
Taxpayers have grown weary of President Trump traveling to Mar-a-Lago in Florida most weekends. Reports indicate that the average cost is $3 million a weekend for him to fly to his “winter White House.”
A comparison of the new budget requests compared to funding needs for past presidents wasn’t disclosed. Those figures are considered confidential by the Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security for security reasons.
Secret Service has asked for an additional $60M for travel and security costs for the Trump family. pic.twitter.com/1LrqcuUt4o
— AJ+ (@ajplus) March 22, 2017
The $26.8 million funding request was documented to provide “residence security operations at the president’s private residence in Trump Tower.” $12.5 million is budgeted to cover “personnel related costs in New York.”
A source with knowledge of the Secret Service’s internal budget discussions says that the requests for $60 million additional funding has been rejected by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, forcing the agency to seek other funding to borrow from for the extra Trump security costs.
Jonathan Wackrow, a 14-year Secret Service employee, explains that the Secret Service cannot “dictate” the lifestyle of the president. Security agents must work around his lifestyle.
“The Secret Service cannot dictate the lifestyle of the protectee. They have to work around it. I don’t think they expected him to go to Florida so often. This was an unanticipated reality.”
President Trump and his family have done little to limit their extravagant lifestyle when it comes to traveling and living arrangements. The president’s grown sons — Eric and Donald Jr., travel abroad frequently to promote Trump properties. Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, do their share of traveling as well. This week their whole family is in Aspen on a ski retreat.
While President Trump vows to keep all of his promises he made to the American people during his campaign, he’s accused of of coming up short when it comes to vacations and travel expenses. He skewered former President Barack Obama for going on vacations and playing golf.
“There’s no time for vacation. We’re not going to be big on vacations,” Trump said in one of his campaign rallies. “The White House is this incredible place. It represents so much, and you’re there for a limited period of time. If you’re at the White House and you have so much work to do, why do you fly? Why do you leave so much?”
Hearing that the Secret Service needs an extra $60 million to protect President Trump and his family isn’t likely to go over well with taxpayers who already feel they’re overpaying for their security.
[Featured Image by John Raedle/Getty Images]