President Donald Trump and his family’s travel and social media habits are putting an unprecedented strain on the Secret Service.
The president has more than 28 million followers on Twitter, and agents are tasked with tracking down every threat posted in response to Trump’s tweets, reported Politico.
“The Twitter thing is creating a lot of hassles,” said Dan Bongino, who worked on protection details for former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “It’s generated a tidal wave of threats that the Secret Service can’t ignore.”
Bongino has written a book due out this summer on the security challenges presented by Trump and his family, including his weekend trips to Mar-A-Lago, his sons’ international business travel, and his wife and youngest son living in New York City.
The near-weekly trips to Florida or other Trump properties has established a pattern that would-be bad guys can follow, and a third of the 200-person New York field office must be assigned every day to protect Trump’s wife and three sons in Manhattan, the website reported.
That keeps them from performing regular duties, including criminal investigations, and agents are also flown to New York from other offices around the country to guard the president’s family.
The Washington Post reported last month that the Secret Service had requested a $60 million increase to its $2 billion budget to guard the Trump family, with nearly half of the hike going to Trump Tower security.
CBS News reported earlier this month that the Secret Service has spent nearly $200,000 on hotels and car rentals while protecting Eric and Donald Trump Jr. on their overseas business trips.
Although the president’s weekly travel habits are fairly predictable, his plans have been less so for the Secret Service.
The White House has abruptly canceled at least three planned trips for which agents had been making preparations.