The United States Secret Service (USSS), which is in part tasked with protecting the US president, can no longer pay hundreds of its agents due to the size of Donald Trump’s family and their trips.
Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles made the comments in an interview with USA TODAY on Monday, although he later appeared to engage in some damage control, stating that the federal law enforcement agency has enough money.
The Trumps travel almost weekly in part to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast. Apart from that, the Secret Service has to protect 42 people, 11 more than the administration of former President Barack Obama.
“The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles told the newspaper. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.” The president himself takes regular weekend trips to his clubs in Florida, New Jersey and Virginia.
“We have them working all night long; we’re sending them on the road all of the time,” Alles said of his agents in the interview.”There are no quick fixes, but over the long term, I’ve got to give them a better balance (of work and private life) here.”
He later issued a statement through a spokesman, asserting that “This issue is not one that can be attributed to the current Administration’s protection requirements, but rather has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade due to an overall increase in operational tempo.”
Alles stated that the Secret Service currently enjoys sufficient funding to “meet all current mission requirements,” adding that roughly 1,100 Secret Service employees are expected to hit their compensation cap for 2017.