Trump Is Bleeding the Secret Service Dry

John Locher  AP

John Locher AP

The Secret Service can no longer afford to pay agents needed to protect President Trump and his family because of an unprecedented number of White House protectees and because of frequent travel, according to USA Today. "I can't change that, I have no flexibility".

President Trump's large family and their habit of traveling to several residences on the East Coast have left the Secret Service without enough money to pay hundreds of agents.

According to a USA Today report, over 1,000 agents have already maxed out their allocated salary and overtime funds for the year - even though it's only August.

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Should the President himself be compensating these agents or should Congress act to raise the caps on their pay? In May, conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch estimated that each hour that Trump spends flying on Air Force One costs $142,000 and that each trip to Mar-A-Lago could cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Members of Trump's immediate family must - by law - be protected 24 hours a day, and that means following them on family trips and overseas excursions.

Furthermore, some 1,100 agents are not expected to receive overtime payments ahead of a major security task in September: the United Nations General Assembly in NY.

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During his first seven months in office, Trump has taken seven trips to his resort in Mar-a-Lago, Florida; five to his golf club in Bedminister, New Jersey; and one to Trump Tower in Manhattan.

In June, CNN reported that the Secret Service was relaxing its drug policy for potential hires, as Alles laid out a plan to swell the agency's ranks by more than 3,000 employees in the coming years.

Officials had hoped that the agency's workload would normalize after the inauguration, but the president's frequent weekend trips, his family's business travel and the higher number of protectees has made that impossible.

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House Oversight Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy noted in a statement a "mutual desire" between him and Democratic counterpart Rep. Elijah Elijah Cummings "to see the Secret Service funded and the agents treated fairly while acknowledging the hard and important job they have". Under Trump, 42 people have protection, including 18 members of the Trump family. As a outcome of all this, the Secret Service is suffering financially. In addition to his wife, Melania Trump, and youngest son, Barron Trump, the president's older sons, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., also have full-time security details. And some fear that that same description might soon apply to those in the Secret Service's care. The same website shows two bills totaling just over $7,000 for hotel rooms in Dublin in late July in support of "E Trump Visit July 17".

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