Secret Service Possibly Renting Floor At Trump Tower For Security

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The U.S. Secret Service is debating a move to rent one floor of the Trump Tower to protect President-elect Donald Trump and his family by turning the top floor into a 24-7 command post, a law enforcement official close to the issue shared with CNN on Friday.The 13,500 square feet to 15,500 square feet cost runs in the range of $1.5 million per year for commercial space at Trump Tower, According to Jared Horowitz of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, the realty group responsible for assigning commercial space at the Trump Tower.

The security plan in protecting President-elect Donald Trump and the first family is expected to require an additional 100 U.S. Secret Service to work in 24-7 shifts members at this point.

Trump Tower To Be Secret Service Command Center

The law enforcement official revealed the current plans for security at Trump Tower, which would function as the Secret Service’s command center with one heck of a view. The security plans would be altered if the president-elect’s family were living at the White House full time and whether or not Melania Trump and their son Barron weren’t staying in New York City through the Spring months.

Once the Trumps begin living at the White House full time, the United States Secret Service will have to reassess the security protocols necessary and whether or not a full-time security presence will be required at Trump Tower, depending on how often Trump and his family return to New York City.

Secret Service Costs “Standard”, Cheaper Alternative Than Hotels

Ron Kessler, an expert on the US Secret Service, says it is “standard for the Secret Service to have these kinds of costs.” It’s a practice that he says goes back at least to Richard Nixon administration.

Kessler says that in the end it may actually “save the government money” because without without renting space agents working to protect the President-elect would be renting hotel rooms. Through renting the Trump Tower for a fixed rate per year, they can live in the building during the Trump Presidency.

Kessler says he is not sure who negotiates the real estate contracts but that Government’s General Services Administration could be involved.

Kessler says VP Joe Biden has a habit if traveling back and forth between Washington and Wilmington, Delaware, several times a week, which has increased costs of his protection.

The official says that this sort of planning is normal for the Secret service after every election, but that “what is unordinary is the President Elect lives on 5th Avenue.”

Before you even think about complaining, take a look at the expenses under President Obama for Secret Service protect and vacations… which add up to a staggering amount per year.

IJR notes that under President Obama, travel expenses were quite high:

Most Vacations By A President: With 31 trips for a total of 119 days abroad, President Obama has now traveled more than any other president, although Bush 43 and Clinton also set records before him.

Travel Costs: Air Force One Costs over $228,000 per hour to fly.

Obama Entourage: President Obama sometimes travels with a 900-person, 45-car, 2 Air-Force Ones, 3-cargo plane entourage.

Mandela’s Funeral: The 13-hour visit in South Africa for Mandela’s funeral cost an estimated $11 million (including 127 hotel rooms and not including the flight).

Total Annual Costs: The total costs for supporting the White House exceed $1.4 billion.

The Obama Family took a 17-day vacation trip to Honolulu during December 2013-January 2014 cost taxpayers an astounding $8,098,060.33 according to information gathered by Judicial Watch from the Department of Homeland Security. Out of that total expense, the Secret Service’s racked up $316,698.03 in expenses. The Secret Service waited nearly two years to produce the requested numbers to Judicial Watch. On top of that cost is the $7,781,361.30 for the U.S. Department of the Air Force incurred for flight expenses alone (36.9 hours at $210,877 an hour).

By comparison, the travel expenses for the entire Royal Family of Great Britain was less than $9 million in 2012 and the cost to maintain them for the year was $55 million. After you account for the $200 million per year generated on rent from properties owned by the royal family. So with those funds included, the Queen actually makes England a sizable profit each year.

NYPD’s Expanded Role In Trump’s Security Detail

The NYPD also plays an important role in the security detail, due to their role in securing the streets around the building. A separate law enforcement official said the number of NYPD officers required to protect the Trump Tower could grow to 300 at a cost of $1 million per day. The official included that a separate command may be necessary to focus on security for the future President.

The United States Secret Service declined to comment on security precautions being taken for Donald Trump and his family.

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