As the government tries to cut back on spending, Donald Trump has offered to keep the White House tours running, as they are set to shut down on Friday.
He confirmed he would back a plan to spend his own money paying for the tours to run after former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested he do so last week.
Gingrich said, “Donald Trump should offer to pay for the White House tours. He can afford it and it would show who cares more for American students.”
On Monday morning, Trump appeared, as he often does, on ‘Fox and Friends.’ During a telephone interview, he was told of Gingrich’s proposal.
“I think it’s so nice of Newt to suggest that,” Trump said. “But it sounds reasonable to me. Why not?”
Trump then asked how much it would cost to keep the tours running.
The Secret Service told CNN it would cost Trump $74,000 a month, or $2 million over the next seven months, to keep it going.
In total, the money would keep 37 uniformed officers at $50 an hour patrolling the East Wing of the White House full-time.
Though the cut is a small part of the $84 million that needs to be cut from the $1.6 billion budget, it is a valuable educational experience many would like to keep around.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “The Secret Service presented options that ranged from canceling tours to potential furloughs and cuts in overtime. And in order to allow the Secret Service to best fulfill its core mission, the White House made the decision that we would unfortunately have to suspend these tours.”
It’s unknown if the White House will take Trump up on his offer, but Trump isn’t afraid to spend the money.
“It’s certainly not a lot of money,” he said.
“The big thing is that the country is going to lose a trillion dollars this year. Closing the White House tours is not exactly the biggest thing on the agenda.”