(Reuters/Gary Cameron)

The Secret Service is running out of money in order to keep the Trump family safe

The Trump family is going around the world, and their protection is really using taxpayer money


Matthew Rozsa
August 21, 2017 1:55PM (UTC)

President Donald Trump may pay lip service to respecting the men and women who risk their lives for our country, but apparently that doesn't extend to adopting a routine that allows them to get paid for their work.

More than 1,000 Secret Service agents have hit their federal salary and overtime caps for the year, according to a report by USA Today. This is in large part attributable to both Trump and his family maintaining multiple residences and extensive schedules for overseas trips, which has stretched Secret Service resources incredibly thin.

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"The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law. I can't change that. I have no flexibility," Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex'' Alles told USA Today.

A number of Secret Service personnel are leaving their positions due to dissatisfaction with the excessive hours, constant travel and compensation issues. Many are expected to remain unpaid for work they've already done, and even if Congress raises the salary-plus-overtime cap from $160,000 annually to $187,000 annually, Alles still estimates that more than 130 agents will not be fully compensated for hundreds of hours of work.

In the end, the situation is unlikely to improve in any meaningful sense because Trump has 42 people under Secret Service protection (compared to 31 under President Barack Obama), of whom 18 are members of his family.

This isn't Trump's first kerfluffle with the people assigned to protect him and his family. In March the Secret Service said that it would need at least $60 million more in its budget to adequately protect Trump. Earlier this month, the Secret Service announced it would no longer keep a command center in Trump Tower, with the underlying issues including the cost of the lease and similar disputes.

Even before the president took office, the New York Police Department complained that the cost of Trump Tower security was causing the budget to balloon.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news 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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