Secret Service budget takes blow protecting Trump

Secret Service budget takes blow protecting Trump
# 21 August 2017 21:08 (UTC +04:00)

More than 1,000 Secret Service officers will not be paid for overtime work they will carry out before the end of the year, the service's director acknowledged in a statement Monday, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Randolph “Tex” Alles said the agency estimates about 1,100 of its employees will work overtime hours that will exceed congressionally-mandated limits this year.

"To remedy this ongoing and serious problem, the agency has worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security, the Administration, and the Congress over the past several months to find a legislative solution," Alles said in a statement to Anadolu Agency.

But the service has the funds necessary "to meet all current mission requirements for the remainder of the fiscal year", he said.

The comments follow a USA Today newspaper story in which the outlet said the agency tasked with protecting President Donald Trump could not afford to carry out its mission due to the costs associated with securing his sprawling East Coast residences and the size of the first family.

Trump has spent nearly every weekend outside of Washington since he assumed office in January. He spends most of his time at his golf course in New Jersey and Florida resort.

Golf cart rentals alone have cost the service $60,000 at Bedminster and Mar a Lago, according to USA Today, that said trips to the Florida resort run the service $3 million each.

Moreover, the president's sons who run the Trump organization are given security details which accompany them when they travel abroad on business. A trip to Uruguay ran up a $100,000 hotel room bill earlier this year when Eric Trump visited, according to USA Today.

"Overwork and constant travel have also been driving a recent exodus from the Secret Service ranks," USA Today reported, citing an exclusive interview with Alles.

In his statement, Alles said the issue has been ongoing for "nearly a decade", putting the blame on an "overall increase in operational tempo” rather than Trump's protection requirements.