The high cost of protecting President Trump and his family is leading the Secret Service to make cost-cutting concessions in order to keep up with their protective mission, according to a Thursday New York Times report.
Dozens of agents across the nation are being pulled from their criminal investigation assignments to protect Trump’s family in two-week shifts, including at the president’s Trump Tower in New York City, where first lady Melania Trump and their youngest son, Barron, are living for the time being.
Under the Trump administration, the Secret Service is facing much higher costs.
They now must cover a large first family including Trump’s adult children as well as their spouses and children. The Trumps' far-flung international trips and other travel are adding to the agency’s expenses, particularly Trump's frequent visits to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
In addition to the president’s family, Trump has also requested top aides like Kellyanne Conway, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus receive protective detail.
After a taxing campaign year, agents' hopes have been dashed that the demanding schedule would slow down after the election concluded. With hundreds of unfilled positions in the agency, agents have largely been working overtime, according to the report, and are at low morale levels.
“They are flat-out worn out,” House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason ChaffetzJason ChaffetzCongress's latest hacking investigation should model its most recent Fox News Audio expands stable of podcasts by adding five new shows The myth of the conservative bestseller MORE (R-Utah) told the Times.
The Washington Post first reported that the agency requested $27 million for additional protection of Trump Tower. The Times said it is also assessing other increased cost factors to take in to account in supplemental negotiations.
“Regardless of the number of protectees or where the assignment takes us, the Secret Service remains an expeditionary law enforcement agency that continues to adapt and evolve based on the mission at hand,” Catherine Milhoan, a spokeswoman for the agency, told the newspaper.
Secret Service largely keeps quiet about the specific costs of protecting a presidential family, in order to avoid the politicization of their efforts.