President Donald Trump’s frequent trips to his own properties have severely strained the Secret Service’s budget, to the point where the agency no longer has enough money to pay its agents.
USA Today reports that “the Secret Service can no longer afford to pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast.”
Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles tells USA Today that more than 1,000 of his agents have already hit federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances, as they have had to expend significantly more time and resources protecting assorted Trump properties.
In addition to protecting Trump during his weekend jaunts to Mar-a-Lago and his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, the Secret Service also must protect the Trump children during their overseas business trips.
“The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles explains to USA Today. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.”
Ailes says that he is in negotiations with Congress to raise the total cap for compensation to ensure that more agents get paid for their work — but he says that raising the total compensation cap from $160,000 to $187,000 would still leave more than 100 agents without the proper pay for the work they’ve put in to protecting the president.
“Normally, we are not this tapped out,” says Alles.