The Secret Service is out of Trump Tower. After a dispute between the government and President Trump’s company over the details and terms of the lease for the space where the Secret Service had stationed its command post, the agents vacated Trump Tower.
At first, their post was located just one floor beneath Trump’s apartment, where Melania was living until recently. But at the beginning of July, they were relocated to a trailer on the sidewalk—more than 50 floors down. And since the Trump’s rarely visit their NY apartment now, the command post is stuck on the sidewalk.
“After much consideration, it was mutually determined that it would be more cost effective and logistically practical for the Secret Service to lease space elsewhere,” spokeswoman Amanda Miller wrote in an email to The Washington Post.
But this doesn’t work well with the Secret Service, who are working “to obtain permanent work space in an appropriate location,” said Catherine Milhoan, a Secret Service spokeswoman. Milhoan added, “Throughout this process, there has been no impact to the security plan developed by the Secret Service.”
The problem? Price, mostly. And a small matter of conflict of interest. The customer, in this case, is Trump’s government, and they are trying to negotiate a lease with Trump’s business, which the president still has ownership of.
But aside from that, it makes the Secret Service’s job that much harder. “It’s a security deficiency that has to be resolved,” said a former Secret Service official. “It’s like having the quarterback of the football game actually being located in a different stadium than where the game is being played.”
The U.S. military is also leasing space in Trump Tower for $130,000 a month—which is more than other renters pay for similar units. But the space was leased not by Trump, but by Joel Anderson, who owns the space. “It was a standard lease negotiation, like any other, and had all of the same parts. The only thing that made it difficult it is they’re bureaucratic, and it takes them forever to do anything,” Anderson said. “They’re not bad to deal with, they’re just slow.”
But the military might have the funds. Already, the Secret Service has had to ask for millions in more funding because of the president. Now they can’t even afford to have space in the building owned by the man they’re protecting.
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