Trump Family’s Secret Service Protection Raises Taxpayer Concerns

Trump Family
Fred Watkins/ABC via Getty Images

During his tenure in the White House, former President Donald Trump’s family placed an unprecedented demand on taxpayer resources through their extensive use of Secret Service protection. An unparalleled number of 42 Trump family members received protection, a situation that Randolph “Tex” Alles, the Secret Service Director at the time, attributed to the legal obligations of his agency towards the president’s large family.

This obligation led to significant increases in operational costs, including overtime pay for agents, prompting Congress to raise their maximum salary from $160,000 to approximately $190,000. The need for such protection extended to the Trump family’s various domestic and international travels, whether for business or leisure, further straining the Secret Service’s resources, told The USA Today.

This situation was highlighted by Jennifer Werner, a spokesperson for Rep. Elijah Cummings, who pointed out the challenges of maintaining a top-tier workforce within the Secret Service without adequate compensation for the increased workload. The financial implications of the Trump family’s security detail were substantial. For example, trips to Mar-a-Lago, one of Trump’s preferred retreats, were estimated to cost $3 million each.

Expenses included nearly $60,000 on golf cart rentals alone to ensure security at Trump’s properties in Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster. Donald Trump, appreciative of the Secret Service’s efforts, praised the agency publicly in 2019 for their exceptional service. Similarly, Eric Trump, in a statement to Yahoo! Finance, claimed that hosting events like the G-7 Summit at Trump-owned properties would result in savings for taxpayers, arguing that the reduced rates offered to the Secret Service at these properties would significantly lower security costs.

Contrary to these claims, reports from The Washington Post revealed that Secret Service agents were occasionally billed $1,185 per night for accommodations in Washington, D.C., well above the standard rate of $195 to $240. The overall expenditure to safeguard Trump and his family, involving stays at Trump properties, approached $1.4 million paid by US taxpayers.

Further, after leaving office, Trump extended six months of protection to his four adult children and three former officials, incurring costs of $1.7 million. This extended protection covered a range of activities, including business trips abroad and personal vacations, all at the expense of taxpayers. This situation underscored the significant financial burden imposed on public funds to accommodate the security needs of the Trump family during and after their time in the White House.

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