Donald Trump's golf and travel habit leads to Secret Service running out of money to protect
Golf Culture

Donald Trump’s golf and travel habit leads to Secret Service running out of money to protect

Donald Trump and his family have traveled so frequently in the 45th President's short, seven-month tenure as Commander-in-Chief that the Secret Service has run out of budgetary funding to protect them.

In an interview with USA Today,  Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles said more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances afforded each agent for the entire year. That's due to these agents being deployed frequently to secure Trump's clubs, including Mar-a-Lago in Florida, as well Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., and in Sterling, Va., where Trump frequently visits to play golf and get away from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The Secret Service spent a large portion of its budget as well on protecting wife Melania and son Barron in New York City, where they remained so the youngest Trump child could finish out the academic year.

"The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,'' said Alles, who agency protects 42 people in Trump's family and administration, an increase from 31 in the Obama administration. "I can't change that. I have no flexibility.''

The agency has been given $41 million to protect Trump and his family through September 30. Trump's trips to Mar-a-Lago cost approximately $3 million each, based on a similar Government Accountability Office estimate for Obama's travels. Trump's stay at his New Jersey club cost less per day but still required the Secret Service to not only protect Trump and his family but also secure the golf club while still allowing members and guests to use the facility. In other words, Donald Trump's golf trips cost quite a bit of money, including $60,000 in golf cart rental fees so far incurred since the inauguration.

Alles is pursuing a potential salary increase for all Secret Service agents for the remainder of Trump's term through 2020 from $160,000 per year to $187,000 per year. That still would not cover all of the overtime which needs to be paid to Secret Service agents for work already done.

If some compromise isn't reached by Congress to offer the Secret Service more funding, some 1,100 agents will be ineligible for overtime as the United Nations General Assembly unfolds in New York, which is the force's biggest security detail and challenge of the year.

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