Donald Trump’s Ongoing Secret Service Drama

If we asked you how you felt about Donald Trump’s drama, there is only one honest answer at this point: “which one?” The former president was always a drama magnet, and these days, that has escalated to one high-profile legal entanglement after another. Those entanglements have occupied so many Trump-related headlines that it’s easier to forget about some of his weirder scandals.

For example, the Secret Service has a simple job: to keep the president and his family safe. Under the Donald Trump presidency, however, Secret Service protection involved plenty of complex drama and scandals that cost the taxpayers some serious money. Don’t believe it? Keep reading to discover the biggest Secret Service scandals related to Donald Trump and his family!

Trump breaks a record (and not in a good way)

It’s no secret that Donald Trump likes making headlines. If he or his family has achieved a major accomplishment, he’ll be the first one to tell you all about it. However, when it came to the Secret Service, Trump broke a record that we’re pretty sure he wants everyone to forget about.

During his one term as president, Trump had a whopping 42 people protected by the Secret Service. According to USA Today, that is more people than any other president has protected. It’s significantly larger than the number of people Joe Biden has given Secret Service protection (only 33), and that alone makes some people wonder whether Trump was serious about draining the swamp or just wanted to use government resources to make life easier for himself and his family.

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So much overtime Congress had to intervene

The Secret Service agents working for Donald Trump most certainly earned their paychecks. Because the president and his family frequently traveled the world, the agents would have to accompany them and frequently worked overtime curious various Trump work trips and vacations. That overtime eventually became such a major issue that Congress had to step in and intervene!

Before the Trump presidency, the most that a Secret Service agent could earn was $160,000 per year. The frequent overtime while protecting Trump’s family kept driving the amounts higher and higher, resulting in Congress increasing that annual compensation to $190,000. Obviously, it’s important for these overworked agents to get paid for their services, but Trump’s rampant use of taxpayer dollars on what amounted to personal protection rubbed many people the wrong way.

An unexpected termination

In retrospect, Donald Trump seemed to have mixed feelings about his interactions with the Secret Service. On one hand, he seemed overjoyed about having round-the-clock protection that he didn’t pay for, and as USA Today reports, he said in April 2019 “These are fantastic people…I would say I could not be happier…Secret Service has done a fantastic job from day one.”

Sounds good so far, right? However, former Secret Service Director Randolph Alles was abruptly fired by Donald Trump, with James M. Murray taking the job. Later, the White House would claim that the president needs employees who will dutifully carry out his agenda, highly implying that Alles was somehow not doing this.

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Protecting Trump’s family was expensive

Remember when we said that Donald Trump secured Secret Service protection for more people than any other president? As you might imagine, the cost of that really began to add up. For example, when Eric Trump went to Uruguay for a quick trip, it cost taxpayers $100,000 to put his Secret Service agents in a hotel.

To make matters worse, many of these trips seemed more about helping the Trump family make money than helping the country in any way. The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington reported that “the Trump family took more trips that required Secret Service protection” in only four years “than the Obama family took in seven.” Overall, the Trump family took 1,625 trips protected by the Secret Service, and many of these trips were made primarily “to promote Trump Organization businesses.”

The Secret Service hotel bill was crazy

As we noted before, the cost of putting the Secret Service up in a hotel for the Trump family’s various worldwide trips can get expensive. That’s why it seemed like a relief when Eric Trump told Yahoo! Finance that hosting the G-7 Summit at the family’s Trump National Doral Miami would ease the taxpayer burden. “It saves a fortune because if they were to go to a hotel across the street, they’d be charging them $500 a night, whereas, you know we charge them, like $50.”

That sounds great on paper, but The Washington Post reports that Trump’s family charged his security staff as much as five times more for various accommodations than the government rates they would get elsewhere. Instead of paying no more than $240 for a Washington, D.C. hotel room via the government rate, they were sometimes billed as much as $1,185. Both this exorbitant cost and the fact that Trump’s family was directly profiting from wasting taxpayer money generated scandals that continue to this day, especially with Trump once again running for president.

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