Sunday, June 27, 2021

the last book I ever read (Carol Leonnig's Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, excerpt twenty-one)

from Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service by Carol Leonnig:

The cart rentals cast the president as a politician on an endless holiday—on the public’s dime. Yet the Service’s biggest physical and financial drain was paying to support all the agents and officers it needed on each trip—at least seventy for even a bare-bones visit. The Service had to pay for hotels, food, transportation, and overtime for the entire team. On top of the protective and counter assault teams that shadowed the president, advance teams had to prepare a security plan for each visit. Secret Service officers had to set up checkpoints at the entrances to any clubs he visited, create vehicle screening zones with bomb-sniffing dogs for any guests, and the man magnetometers at the building entrance. Trump’s weekend visits were becoming so routine, the agents and officers were logging tens of thousands of dollars in overtime each visit. The average weekend hop to Mar-a-Lago cost the Service about $400,000 to support its staff. If the president traveled every other weekend to golf, would the Service have enough left to pay for his packed schedule of travel around the country for official duties, and the even more expensive upcoming foreign trips to Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Paris, and Asia, much less for the travel of his family and the vice president?

President Obama’s critics had excoriated him for his golfing trips and Hawaii vacations, nothing that this travel had cost taxpayers an estimated $97 million over his eight years in office. Trump’s travel, however, cost the government $13.6 million in just one month and quickly rose to $20 million in two months, according to a report by Congress’s watchdog. If the forty-fifth president continued at this rate, Trump alone was on target to cost the U.S. taxpayer more than $600 million for his travel in one term.

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