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Trump’s travels, family depleting Secret Service funds

Lauren Rosenblatt
Los Angeles Tribune

Washington — The Secret Service is close to its annual caps for salary and overtime pay for more than 1,000 agents, partly because of President Donald Trump’s large family, multiple properties and frequent travel, according to a report Monday in USA Today.

The Secret Service director, Randolph “Tex” Alles, told the newspaper that he is working to raise the combined salary and overtime caps for agents from $160,000 to $187,000 for the duration of Trump’s first term, but said he doesn’t see the problem changing “in the near term.”

In a CNN report, Alles said the issue cannot be attributed to the current administration but rather to “an overall increase in operational tempo” over nearly a decade.

Yet with Trump as president, the agency is responsible for protecting 42 people, compared with 31 people during the Obama administration. It also must guard several Trump-owned properties where the president stays, including Trump Tower in Manhattan, Mar-a-Lago in Florida and his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., where Trump recently vacationed.

Also, among others, agents protect Trump’s two adult sons, who often travel internationally for business, and their families, as well as daughter Ivanka Trump and her family.

The Los Angeles Times reported in May that in the first 100 days of Trump’s presidency, the total cost of travel and protection for him and his family was about $30 million, compared with an annual cost of $12 million for President Obama, who did not travel as frequently but came in for criticism nonetheless from conservatives.

Congress allocated an additional $13 million to the Secret Service in May to cover unanticipated overtime for its agents and $61 million to reimburse New York and Palm Beach for their expenses during the election season.

Trump, in a statement in July marking the 152nd anniversary of the Secret Service, said he and First Lady Melania Trump were “especially thankful for those who selflessly stand by our side to safeguard our family every day.”