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Protecting Trump And Paying Trump Are Adding Up

by Countable | 8.21.17

What’s the story?

USA Today broke the news early Monday morning that the Secret Service is running out of money faster than with any previous administration, providing protection to the president and his family. On the same day the Washington Post revealed that the Republican National Committee (RNC) has paid nearly $1.3 million to the Trump organization to host various fundraisers at Trump properties.

Combined, the two stories portray a president who is costing the government millions while his family’s business reaps the benefits of his position.

Why does it matter?

USA Today reports, based on an interview with Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, that "more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year."

These officers simply cannot stop protecting the president, so many have been forced to work without getting paid. Alles would like Congress to increase the Secret Service’s budget due to the increased workload.

President Trump has traveled to one of his Trump properties nearly every weekend since the inauguration. When this happens the Secret Service must, by law, provide constant protection for the president. They also must maintain security at the White House and at Trump Tower in New York City, considered the president’s permanent residence.

Additionally, they must provide security details for all of the president’s family members, who often engage in extensive foreign travel. When Eric Trump travelled to Uruguay earlier this year, the Secret Service spent $100,000 on just hotel rooms. There are 42 people, including 18 family members, under constant Secret Service protection, up from 31 during the Obama administration.

Reports also surfaced in early August that the Secret Service was evicted from Trump Tower over a rental dispute and were forced to set up a command post in a trailer outside the building. Fox News noted that the rental rates in the Trump Tower are some of the highest in Manhattan.

Issues with Secret Service agents reaching their annual salary caps prematurely due to working overtime are not unique to the Trump administration. The extra travel that comes from a presidential campaign and the numerous candidates who require protection can prematurely exhaust the Secret Service's budget. Trump’s presidency, however, is the first to encounter this problem due to the size and frequent travel of the president’s family and staff.

Additionally, the Secret Service is paying the Trump organization rent and other fees as they use Trump properties while protecting the president and his family. USA Today reports they have paid $60,000 on golf cart rental alone to protect the president while he plays. And the RNC is paying the Trump organization to host fundraising and campaign events.

Questions have been raised for months about the ways in which the Trump family is benefiting financially from Trump’s presidency. Multiple states have gone to court, alleging that the president is in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which states that a president may not receive gifts, payments, offices or titles from foreign states without the consent of the United States Congress.

The Trump organization receiving money from the RNC is likely not a violation of the emoluments clause. The RNC is a private organization, not a government entity. The president’s lawyers have maintained that he has placed his ownership shares in a trust and handed the control of the company to his sons. Critics have argued, however, that the president’s ability to withdraw funds from the trust at any time means he is still benefitting from business the organization engages in while he is in office.

The cumulative costs to the American public are starting to add up, and may even impair the Secret Service’s ability to protect the president and his family members.

What do you think?

Are you concerned about the benefits being accrued by the president and his family from his presidency, or do you think it’s just business? What should Congress do to address the taxing of Secret Service resources? Do you think the president should charge the Secret Service rent at Trump Tower or for using golf carts at his resorts?

Use the Take Action button to tell your reps what you think!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(98)
  • Susan
    08/21/2017
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    He claimed he was so damn rich, and he wanted his own bodyguards during the campaign, so let him pay for his own damn bodyguards. And why in the fucking hell are we protecting eighteen family members? Let him do it himself

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  • Sarah
    08/21/2017
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    I'm concerned and angered. It was known by the RNC who helped put Trump on the ballot that his protection and that of his family would come at an extremely high cost; as well as the benefits his business reaps from payments to his properties. Charging rent to the SS who are providing a mandatory service is an outrage. I've worked with some fine agents and they have a very difficult and dangerous job; they should not be penalized due to the EXCESSES of Trump and his family. Either he curtails his activities (weekend trips) or his protective detail is reduced or he pays for it. Even better that he's properly impeached and removed from office.

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  • Helen
    08/21/2017
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    Time for him to stay st the Whitehouse and stop leaving every weekend. He should never have charged the Secret Service for guarding his family in Trump Tower!

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  • Deirdre
    08/21/2017
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    For someone to condemn the previous president for spending to much money and then actually spend more in 7 months is just insane. If there is no money to pay the secret police than trump should pay for it himself. Or maybe actually use camp David instead of his places. This whole president is a joke and a waste of taxpayers money

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  • JayFeat
    08/21/2017
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    He's literally going to Trump resorts just so the Secret Service can pay his company money each time. How is this not a conflict or interest.

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  • Ian
    08/21/2017
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    This is what we get for allowing a money-hungry person in a position of great responsibility. Our resources get spent on building an ego, not our country.

    Like (19)
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  • Vanessa
    08/21/2017
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    Ha! He wants to cut back on spending, this is a good place to start!

    Like (17)
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  • Nancy
    08/21/2017
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    There is NO NEED for President Trump and his family members to be off on golf trips every weekend, then 17 day vacations on top. There is no need for adding these extra expenses to our bedget and it is UNCONSCIONABLE for Secret Service agents to be working without pay! Trump must be required to stay at the White House and get his work done. He has no business campaigning for 2020 re-election when he can't seem to get any legislation passed!

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  • Andy1
    08/21/2017
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    Not sure I can handle any more winning from this president

    Like (14)
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  • Jacob
    08/21/2017
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    What a complete and utter disaster this administration is. And to be honest, I say that not with sadness or anger, but with complete and utter glee. I admit shamelessly that I hope for his failure every day, and every day delivers. I do not think it is unpatriotic of me to feel this way, nor do I agree with those who say that hoping Donald Trump fails is like hoping that a plane crashes with all of us on it. No, no. I can agree that the Presidency of the United States is a reflection on all Americans, but I will also say that the fact that an administration run by an unqualified, xenophobic, racist, sexual predator cannot for its life become normalized is also a reflection on us. A positive one. The disastrous nature of this White House is because Americans have refused to stand for this - that's why I say "disaster" with glee.

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  • Mj
    08/21/2017
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    Why are we paying to protect liars and traitors. Get trump and his crooked family out of our White House and government. I am so disgusted that the republicans now condone a nazi in the White House they all must go.

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  • Pam
    08/21/2017
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    No other president has benefitted in this manner. Trump promised to divest and did not. It is wrong. He should meet campaign promises of no golf, divest. He is setting a poor precedent for future. BTW fake news as a generic response is becoming boring. Please state your opinion with reasons. Dialogue should replace such responses. I hope our country returns to transparency and dialogue. They are foundational to democracy.

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  • Timothy
    08/21/2017
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    If Trump exhausts the budget of the Secret Service, let him pay for his protection and that of his entourage. This is what our nation gets when someone who wants the perks of the presidency without the responsibility is elected.

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  • Azrael
    08/21/2017
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    He uses our camp David No More trump properties No more taxpayer funds used to house secret service to trump properties If he wants them to take a bullet he can comp them rooms meals and golf carts If he wants them to take a bullet he can pay them How does he expect their families to live? Never home now plus no pay I wouldn't take a phone call for him let alone a bullet

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  • Timnyc
    08/21/2017
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    This is another good reason to put America First . Let's stop paying the President to Protect the President? This would not be accepted by any GOP member if it was a Democratic President and it should be unacceptable to all those in the government service that I am paying the President to Protect himself. He is such a good business man he can afford to pay some of his own protection.

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  • Niki
    08/21/2017
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    As a taxpayer, I object to the outrageous expenses incurred trying to protect this family. They insist on excessive vacations and will not use the facilities provided with his office. If they want protection, they can pay for it. They are ultra wealthy aren't they?

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  • OlderNWiser
    08/21/2017
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    This is unconscionable and typical of a thoughtless, narcissistic con artist who aspires to becoming our dictator. Amendment 25 in the name of all that is holy. Get him, Pence and Sessions out before it is too late.

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  • Benjamin
    08/21/2017
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    His comments about prior administration overspending etc. He seems to be trying to singlehandedly double the national debt with all his "working" vacations. Stay at the White House and actually gat something real done!

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  • Philip
    08/22/2017
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    Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Trump say he will only receive $1 for his salary? If that he the case then he can afford his family's own security. The Secret Service can provide security only for POTUS. Making Ameri Great? Yeah right! He sticking it to the people who [apparently] voted for him.

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  • One4All4One
    08/22/2017
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    And Trump complained about what it cost to protect Obama on his trips outside of the White House. Trump should be embarrassed...if only he were capable of realizing that.

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