Secret Service refuses to pony up for Trump Tower's sky-high rents

The Secret Service is no longer going to have a command post in Trump Tower to a financial dispute with Trump

Published August 4, 2017 9:01AM (EDT)

Traffic passes Trump Tower, Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) (AP)
Traffic passes Trump Tower, Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) (AP)

President Donald Trump is no longer going to have a Secret Service command post protecting him inside of Trump Tower in Manhattan.

Although the Secret Service had kept a command post in Trump Tower in a floor just below the president's own apartment, they abandoned it in early July and instead keep their command post in a sidewalk trailer, according to a report by The Washington Post. While the details behind why the Secret Service has left Trump Tower have not been revealed, sources told The Post that the cost of the lease and other similar disputes caused the falling out.

"After much consideration, it was mutually determined that it would be more cost effective and logistically practical for the Secret Service to lease space elsewhere," a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization told the Post.

The cost of protecting Trump both in Trump Tower and during his family's international business deals has raised considerable controversy. In March the Secret Service requested a $60 million budget increase for protecting the president, of which $26.8 million was allocated toward protecting Trump Tower and the president's family in their international business trips. Some estimates held that the Trump Tower protection costs alone were going to equal $3 million each year, which would go to Trump's business organization.

This isn't the first time that there have been concerns about Trump using Trump Tower rent to make money off of his presidential campaign and, subsequently, administration. The Trump campaign itself saw its rent increase by nearly 500 percent in July 2016 — from $35,458 to $169,758 — and the government's military office is currently paying more than $130,000 each month to lease space in Trump Tower.

According to a letter by acting undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics to Rep. Jackie Speier of California, "this residential space is privately owned and that lease negotiations have been with the owner’s representatives only. We are not aware of any means through which the president would personally benefit from a government lease of this space."

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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