Society

Costs Mount For Trump Security

| by Jordan Smith

President Donald Trump has become the most expensive president to provide security for after his first 100 days in office.

The cost for security for the president, first lady Melania Trump, his children and their family members reached $30 million in those 100 days, the Los Angeles Times reported.

This compares to a cost of $12 million a year for former President Barack Obama and his family.

The additional costs are largely down to Trump using three residences: the White House, Trump Tower in New York City and his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida. In the federal budget deal reached between Democrats and Republicans, additional funds were allocated to support Secret Service operations.

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"Although the federal government does not otherwise reimburse costs of state or local law enforcement for activities in support of the United States Secret Service protection mission, these funds are being provided in recognition of the extraordinary costs borne by a small number of jurisdictions in which a residence of the president is located," the bill noted.

The 58-floor Trump Tower is still the full-time residence of Melania and the couple's son, 11-year-old Barron, who is staying in the city to complete the school year. The New York Police Department stated that it spends up to $146,000 daily to protect the first lady and Barron.

Melania Trump has often flown separately to Mar-a-Lago during the president's seven trips there since his inauguration. She has also flown from New York to Washington eight times since Trump became president.

The plane that serves as Air Force One, which the president uses whenever he flies, costs an estimated $200,000 per hour to fly.

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The taxpayer has also covered security costs associated with the foreign trips of Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, the president's two adult sons who have engaged in business activities.

An estimated 20 Secret Service personnel would have been required in Uruguay when Eric traveled there to promote a Trump building recently, according to a former Secret Service agent. Taxpayer funds were also spent to provide security at the opening of a Trump International Golf Club in Dubai.

"You don't want a family member of the president to go unprotected, but what you really have here are taxpayers [subsidizing] Trump's business activities," added Norman Eisen, who served as an ethics adviser in the Obama administration.

Before he took office, Trump was a critic of the security costs for the Obama family.

"President [Barack Obama's] vacation is costing taxpayers millions of dollars - unbelievable," he tweeted in 2012.

The matter of Trump's security costs came up again May 5, when the president announced he would travel to his New Jersey residence for the weekend.

"Rather than causing a big disruption in N.Y.C., I will be working out of my home in Bedminster, N.J. this weekend. Also saves country money!" he tweeted, according to Fortune.

The mayor of Bedminster stated that a trip by Trump there before becoming president cost an additional $4,000 in police overtime. Bedminster estimates it could now spend $12,000 per day when he visits.

Sources: Los Angeles Times via Sydney Morning Herald, Fortune / Photo credit: U.S. Air National Guard/Master Sgt. Kellen Kroening/Wikimedia Commons

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