Donald Trump Jr. has chosen to no longer receive protection by the United States Secret Service, reportedly citing concerns over his privacy.
According to The New York Times, a senior administration official has confirmed that Donald Jr., the president’s oldest child, would like to have more privacy than he has been afforded over the past couple of years, with Secret Service agents constantly surrounding him. The publication noted that Donald Trump Jr. is an avid hunter and camper.
The United States Secret Service reportedly ceased protecting the presidential son last week. Donald Jr. resides in New York City, where he sits at the helm of The Trump Organization, of which he and his younger brother Eric are trustees.
Protecting the president and his family is one of the main responsibilities of the Secret Service. By law, the agency is required to provide 24/7 security to President Trump and his immediate family. However, those under the protection of the Secret Service’s Presidential Protective Division can also choose to forego the agency’s services — as Donald Trump Jr. has done.
The presidential son has yet to comment on his decision to opt out of Secret Service protection. It is unclear if Donald’s wife, Vanessa, and their five children will continue to be covered by the agency.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 19, 2017
President Trump’s other children and their families will continue to receive protection from the Secret Service, as will Trump Tower, his primary residence.
Some are lauding the younger Trump’s decision as a much-needed means of freeing up manpower and resources desperately needed by the beleaguered Secret Service. Over the last few months, it has come to light that the sheer size and jet-setting lifestyle of the Trump family has depleted the agency’s funds and left it unable to pay its agents.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 6, 2017
Trump critics have repeatedly pointed out that American taxpayers should not be shouldering the substantial cost of protecting the president’s family members on their numerous vacations and overseas business trips.
Last month, Secret Service Director Randolph Alles told USA Today that his agents have done so much overtime work that more than 1,000 of them have already hit the caps on salary and overtime allowances for the entire year. The director also revealed that he is in talks with lawmakers to increase the agents’ salary and overtime caps from $160,000/year to $187,000/year — at least while Trump serves his first term.
According to The New York Times, Secret Service spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan declined to comment on Donald Trump Jr.’s decision.
“To ensure the safety and security of our protectees and their families, we will not confirm who is currently receiving Secret Service protection.”
The White House has not released a statement on the matter.
Well done Mr. President! Congratulations on an amazing 100 days. I look forward to many more years of you fighting for America. Keep it up. pic.twitter.com/iAxgSJ68I8
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) April 29, 2017
[Featured Image by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images]