The U.S. Secret Service faced questions Wednesday from the Democratic chair of the House Homeland Security Committee about the cost of protecting President Trump and his family.
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi sent a letter to the director of the U.S. Secret Service requesting specific details about trips taken by Mr. Trump and his family members.
“The large number of protectees in the Trump family and their frequency of travel has already strained the Secret Service’s budget, making it important that this Committee fully understand the resources required of the Secret Service to protect the First Family,” Mr. Thompson wrote.
“In order to assess the agency’s forthcoming Fiscal Year 2021 budget request, I am seeking information on the expenses your office has incurred to support the travel of President Trump and his family throughout his time in office,” the congressman continued.
Addressed to Secret Service Director James M. Murray, the chairman’s letter specifically seeks details about “all trips” taken by the president and members of his family provided protection by the agency since the start of the Trump administration in early 2017.
In addition to details including the dates, locations and purposes of the trips, the letter also asks Mr. Murray to identify any expenses incurred for use of Trump properties, such as the president’s privately owned hotels and resorts.
Analysis conducted previously by the Government Accountability Office determined that the Secret Service spent around $1.6 million in taxpayer money to cover the cost of just four trips the president took between February and March 2017 to his Mar-a-Lago club in southern Florida, Mr. Thompson noted.
Separately, three international trips taken by Mr. Trump’s adult children and their spouses during a similar two-month span reportedly cost around $390,000, Mr. Thompson wrote.
The chairman has asked Mr. Murray to provide his committee with the requested information by February 3.
“The U.S. Secret Service can confirm receipt of a congressional inquiry from Chairman Bennie Thompson of the House Committee on Homeland Security,” a Secret Service spokesperson told The Washington Times later Wednesday. “As with all other congressional inquiries, the U.S. Secret Service will work diligently to provide the requested information.”
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