The U.S. Secret Service astronomical spending to provide security for the lavish and far-flung travel of President Trump and his family – including Trump’s now almost weekly trips to his Florida resort for golf and his kids endless vacation trips– has gotten so out of hand that the agency on Tuesday requested a $60 million increase in its budget for the coming year.
The Trumps’ unusual living style is on the brink of depleting the U.S. Secret Service budget, forcing the agency to request an additional $60 million in spending for fiscal year 2018. Nearly $27 million of that was to be earmarked for security at the president’s private residence at Trump Tower in New York, where first lady Melania Trump lives with their 11-year-old son. The Secret Service also said it needed another $33 million to cover weekend travel costs incurred by the president.
But the Office of Management and Budget rejected the request, according to the Washington Post, which could potentially force the Secret Service to scale back on other operations, like investigations into cyber hacking, counterfeit currency, financial crimes or missing and exploited minors.
The Post report comes amid questions about the president’s regular weekend jaunts to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Trump has made at least five trips to the “Southern White House” since his inauguration, each time costing taxpayers an estimated $3 million or more.
The request was turned down by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), headed by director Mick Mulvaney. The Secret Service was told to try to find the money through savings in other areas of its budget.
The request, contained in internal agency documents obtained by the newspaper, was an urgent plea for more resources after Trump and his family’s travel and lifestyle had begun to stretch the Secret Services resources to the limits.
Taxpayers were hit with a whopping $10 million bill on Trump’s first three trips to Mar-a-Lago in late January and February, according to a recent investigation by The Washington Post. At that rate, travel and security for Trump and his family could run up hundreds of millions in costs by the end of his term.
Trump’s adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr., travel extensively overseas in running the family business and they receive round-the-clock Secret Service protection. Eric Trump’s trip to Uruguay in January to check on the progress of a Trump hotel reportedly cost taxpayers nearly $98,000 for agents’ hotel rooms.
At the same time, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband, Jared Kushner, serve as senior advisers to the president, and they and their children are also afforded Secret Service protection.
Thankfully, the request for additional taxpayer money was denied. Well done, OMB, well done.
Ironically, Trump more than once criticized the cost of President Obama’s travel, saying it was “unbelievable” that Obama’s trips were “costing taxpayers millions of dollars.”