The US Secret Service asked for $US60 million in additional funding last month to protect President Donald Trump and his family for the next fiscal year, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
The report, published on Wednesday, gives a clearer picture of the expenses incurred by the Secret Service as it scrambles to keep up with the Trumps, who split time between Washington, New York, Florida, and promotional events for Trump properties around the world.
According to the report, about $US27 million of the additional $US60 million requested would go to protecting Trump Tower in New York City, where first lady Melania Trump resides with her son as he finishes school. The remaining $US33 million would pay for travel costs from trips involving Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and visiting heads of state.
The request for the 2018 fiscal budget, submitted in February, was rejected by the Office of Management and Budget, the Post reported, meaning the Secret Service will probably have to divert spending from other areas — such as cybercrime investigation and counterfeit-money operations — to cover the costs.
The full budget for protecting the Trumps is not publicly available, however former Secret Service agents interviewed by The Post speculated it’s much higher than that of other presidents, considering the family’s habit of travelling. Donald Trump recently spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, his fifth such getaway since his inauguration two months ago. Trump will host Chinese President Xi Jinping at the island club next month.
“The expense of taking on a family like the Trumps versus taking on a family like the Clintons,” former Secret Service director W. Ralph Basham told The Post. “It’s a totally different funding scenario.”
The lofty security cost at Mar-a-Lago is partially incurred by the Palm Beach County sheriff’s office, as well as the Coast Guard, which is providing a gun-mounted response boat to patrol the resort’s coasts, at a rate of $US1,500 an hour.
Meanwhile, at Trump Tower in Manhattan, local police expect to spend $US300,000 to protect Trump when he is in town, according to The Post.
Read the full Washington Post report here »
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