- Former presidents, spouses and children under 16 are entitled to protection
- Donald Trump took the unusual step of negotiating extended coverage
- Before he left the White House, he agreed to extend it to his four adult children
- Three former officials are also still being protected, for six months
- A Freedom of Information request showed it is costing $140,000 a month
- Critics describe it as ‘grift’: the arrangement continues until July
Taxpayers in the United States are spending $140,000 a month on Secret Service protection for Donald Trump’s adult children – despite them not being entitled, by convention, to protection.
A Washington DC think tank, Citizens for Ethics in Washington (CREW) obtained the data for February via a Freedom of Information Request.
In the 30-day period, the transportation amounted to $52,296.75, and hotel costs totaled at least $88,678.39, according to the records.
Among the costs were $62,599.39 for the hotel stay of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s security agents while the couple went on a 10-day vacation to Utah, immediately on leaving the White House.
Security then followed them, in just February, to Miami and Bedminster, New Jersey.
Donald Trump Jr. also spent time in New York City, Long Island, and Upstate New York, with his travel costing taxpayers at least $13,337.
Eric and Lara Trump spent much of the month of February in New York at the Trump Briarcliff property, with some short trips into Queens, one trip to Miami and two to Palm Beach, which cost the Secret Service at least $12,742.
The Secret Service is normally tasked with protecting serving officials.
Only former presidents and their spouses, and their children aged under 16, are given protection for life.
Malia and Sasha Obama lost their Secret Service detail shortly after their parents left the White House, The Washington Post reported.
However, Trump negotiated a deal before his January 20 departure, by which his four adult children – Donald Jr, 43; Ivanka, 39; Eric, 37; and Tiffany, 27 – would have their protection extended for six months.
Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, and Eric’s wife, Lara, were also given a security detail.
The extension was also granted to three of his officials – former treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, former chief of staff Mark Meadows and former national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
The extension comes after a presidency which saw the Secret Service stretched, staffing the largest number ever of full-time security details — up to 42 at one point, according to former senior administration officials.
CREW said that the $140,000-a-month, which amounts for $4,700 a day, was likely an underestimate.
The Secret Service ‘did not provide records of spending at Trump businesses, which is the most controversial aspect of the extended protection,’ CREW added.
The watchdog has previously reported that the Trump family, while in office, took 12 times as many trips at the Obamas, with the taxpayers footing the security bill.
‘While it may be tempting to put the story of the Trump family’s profiteering in the past, we cannot until they have actually stopped directing taxpayer money into their own bank accounts,’ said CREW.
‘Thanks to Trump’s unusual extension of their protection, they’ve got a few more months to continue the grift.’