On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is imploring Democrats to change draft legislation that would disclose how much the Secret Service spends securing President Donald Trump’s travel, so that the information is only made public after the presidential election.
The disclosure requirement is part of a broader bipartisan bill that would transfer control of the Secret Service back to the Treasury Department.
Originally founded in 1865 as an anti-counterfeiting agency and only later acquiring its modern role in presidential security detail, the Secret Service has historically operated as an arm of the Treasury Department, but in the wake of the 9/11 attacks was reorganized under the newly-created Department of Homeland Security.
Mnuchin himself has spearheaded the effort to move the Secret Service back to the Treasury Department, arguing that it would make the agency more effective — but he strongly opposes the Democratic efforts, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), to strengthen transparency.
Questions have swirled about the cost of Trump’s travel since he took office, spurred in large part by his frequent visits to his Mar-a-Lago country club in South Florida. According to the Government Accountability Office, Trump’s first four trips to Mar-a-Lago cost the Secret Service roughly $1.3 million each.