Why Donald Trump's Kids Just Lost Secret Service Protection

Back in January, ABC News confirmed that Donald Trump's four adult children would continue to receive Secret Service protection for an additional six months, alongside their two spouses, following the end of the controversial former president's term. Likewise, several high-profile staff members were also still being protected, including Trump's former Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows. The Secret Service does not divulge the intricacies of such decisions, as standard practice, so it was unclear whether Trump himself demanded his nearest and dearest get continued protection. 

Although first children are frequently covered, this right is typically extended to minors and college students only. Trump's kids are, obviously, old enough to be married and have their own children. Likewise, former administration officials usually do not continue to receive such protections. Naturally, both Trump and wife Melania are entitled to lifelong protection, while their son, Barron, will receive it until he turns 16. Retired Secret Service agent Don Mihalek suggested the decision to continue protecting the Trump kids was likely due to the perceived threat level. Now, however, their time is finally up.

The adult Trump kids' extension has expired

National Zero confirms the six-month term during which Donald Trump's four adult children — namely, Ivanka, Don. Jr., Eric, and Tiffany, alongside Ivanka's husband, Jared Kushner, and Lara Trump, who's married to Eric — enjoyed continued Secret Service protection has come to an end. This past Tuesday marked six months since President Joe Biden first entered office. Likewise, former VP Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, also lost their protections after the requisite six-month extension. According to watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington (CREW), around $140,000 was spent protecting Trump's four adult children in the first month alone following the end of his presidency. As Political Flare notes, this is the first time in nearly five years the Trump kids will go without protection. 

Since the family typically stays at one of their own establishments, the Secret Service had to rent their own accommodation as close as possible, which is another huge bill for the taxpayer. It most likely means the figure quoted above is actually much higher. Twitter was in full celebration mode over the news, with one user tweeting, "We rejoice today as the former first children, excluding Barron, loose [sic] their nannies and are no longer under Secret Service protection. A penny saved is a penny earned," while another tweeted, "After today, the grown children of the former guy will no longer be able to leech off of taxpayers for Secret Service protection they shouldn't have had and didn't deserve. Good." A third Twitter user wrote simply, "Finally."

The Trump family was very reliant on the Secret Service

As The Hill reported in late 2020, from 2017 to 2019, President Trump and his various family members took thousands of trips for which Secret Service protection was required. A statement from watchdog CREW confirmed a considerable number of the whopping 4,560 trips were to Trump-owned properties also, noting, "Every President and his family deserve Secret Service protection. But the President's private business should reimburse taxpayers for money spent at Trump's businesses or in support of them." Throughout his predecessor Barack Obama's term, Trump was very critical of how much time he was supposedly spending outside of the White House. 

It's pretty ironic, then, that Trump and his family took around 1,625 annual trips compared to the Obamas' average of 133.3. In fact, Trump and his family took the same number of trips (4,200) over the course of 2018-2019 that the Obamas took across five — a stark contrast. Trump's adult children, naturally, work and travel for the Trump Organization, so their inclusion in these various taxpayer-funded jaunts is particularly troublesome. Meanwhile, their reliance on the Secret Service notably put a major strain on the agency's resources, too, as CREW noted.

Several expensive trips were taken during the six-month extension

As People notes, CREW's latest report offered a massive figure of $140,000 to cover the first month post-presidency for the adult Trump kids. "That figure, however, does not include charges at Trump properties in Bedminster, Palm Beach, and Briarcliff, New York, which would likely bring the actual total much higher," they reported. CREW therefore claims the total figure for the full six months could be close to $1 million. A freedom of information request was filed in February to get the full details of what Trump's extension, which a Secret Service insider advised was engineered last minute to provide a "transition period" for his kids, cost taxpayers. 

CREW notes the Secret Service dropped around $52,300 on transport and almost $89,000 to cover them in the initial 30 days after Trump stepped down, including $62,600 in January for a 10-day trip Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner took to Salt Lake City with their children, which began the day after President Joe Biden's inauguration. They subsequently followed them to Miami. Elsewhere, the Secret Service accompanied Eric and Lara Trump, alongside their kids, across the East Coast. The couple also visited Palm Beach, where Mar-a-Lago is located, in February, resulting in a bill of $10,250. Don Jr. visited that same month, costing taxpayers almost $9,000 overall.

Evidently, Twitter users' jubilation over no longer footing the bill for such reportedly non-essential trips, some of which likely profited the family personally too, is understandable.