President Trump’s insistence on retaining direct ownership of his properties and business creates some sticky and arguably unethical situations on a regular basis. But this latest report is really over the top. The Trump Organization wanted more money for the command space that the Secret Service uses to protect the president’s home and the two could not agree. Now, the president’s security detail has moved out.
According to the Washington Post, since becoming president, Trump hasn’t been back to Trump Tower, but his wife Melania, and his son Barron stayed there until moving to Washington in June. But the Secret Service still considers the skyscraper to be Trump’s home and it has to be protected. Not to mention, it’s a big gold symbol that represents everything Trump, and is, therefore, a strong target for terrorist activity. The president’s people have decided to screw those other tenants’ safety because he wants more money.
Technically Trump doesn’t control his company at the moment. He put his dimwitted sons in charge of the organization through a shady revocable trust. As far as anyone knows, the man himself had nothing to do with removing the Secret Service from the command post located one floor below his gold-splattered residence. According to the report, the Secret Service relocated its central operations 50 floors down in early June. The command station is now a trailer on the sidewalk.
Secret Service officials told the Post on Thursday that they were still holding out hope of reaching a deal to move back into the tower. But Trump Organization spokeswoman Amanda Miller told reporters that “it was mutually determined that it would be more cost effective and logistically practical for the Secret Service to lease space elsewhere.”
“Throughout this process, there has been no impact to the security plan developed by the Secret Service,” Catherine Milhoan, a Secret Service spokeswoman told the Post. But a former Secret Service official speaking on the condition of anonymity said that won’t be the case. “It’s like having the quarterback of the football game actually being located in a different stadium than where the game is being played,” they said. The biggest fear is that radio signals between agents and command could be disrupted or intercepted.
Taxpayers are getting beaten up by Trump’s security costs in many ways. In May, New York City’s payout for protecting the tower was estimated to be $308,000 per day. The military also has a command post in the tower that costs $130,000 a month. During the campaign, Trump flew everywhere on his own private plane. In September, he billed the Secret Service $1.6 million for their seats on the plane. While the government traditionally reimburses campaign travel costs for its security, Trump was in a unique position to directly profit.
In December, Politico reported that Trump Tower was being advertised as “The Best Value in the Most Secure Building in Manhattan,” and the Secret Service was listed as a “new amenity.”