The Secret Service is grappling with how to constrain the rising costs and unexpected strain that have come with protecting a new first family as large, mobile and high-profile as any in modern history, the New York Times reports. Dozens of agents from New York and field offices across the country are being temporarily pulled off criminal investigations to serve two-week stints protecting Trump family members, including the first lady and the youngest son in Manhattan’s Trump Tower. Others assigned to the highly selective presidential protective division had hoped for relief after a grueling election year. That hope evaporated as they work more overtime hours and spend long stretches away from home because of the Trump family’s far-flung travel.
Agency leaders are negotiating for tens of millions of dollars in supplemental funding to help offset the sky-high costs of securing Trump Tower and other high-profile family assets like Mar-a-Lago in Florida. It is a figure that will only continue to rise. “They are flat-out worn out,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The agency must contend with what amounts to an increase of 40 percent more people under its protection compared to a noncampaign year. There are growing concerns among current and former officials in the Homeland Security Department and on Capitol Hill not only about how the Secret Service will keep up, but also what it might mean for its recovery from the high attrition, low morale and spending caps that have plagued it in recent years.