Donald Trump's sons' secret service protection on business trips could cost millions for US taxpayers

Eric and Donald Jr Trump are in Dubai to open a new golf course 

Chloe Farand
Saturday 18 February 2017 20:09
Secret service agent describes protecting Donald Trump

Protecting Donald Trump’s immediate family is costing American taxpayers millions and his sons' business travels are quickly racking up the bill.

Mr Trump’s sons Eric and Donald Jr, who run the Trump Organisation, receive Secret Service protection as members of the US President’s immediate family.

The pair arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Saturday for a ceremony to formally open the Trump International Golf Club in Dubai.

It is unclear what additional protections the two sons will receive while in Dubai but experts already have warned the Trump brand abroad now faces a global terror risk and the security bill could reflect that risk.

On Thursday, the Washington Post reported the bill had already surpassed $16,000 (£13,000).

Eric’s visit to Uruguay on a business trip to check on the progress of the Trump Tower in January is said to have cost US taxpayers almost $100,000 (£80,000) to cover his security costs.

Mr Trump said he had stepped back from the management of his business during in term in office and handed it over to his sons and senior executives.

Eric and Donald Jr are expected to continue to travel abroad on business trip for the Trump Organisation and their protection could end up costing millions to US taxpayers.

A giant billboard advertising the Trump International Golf Club hangs at the Dubai Trade Center roundabout, in Dubai.

A Trump hotel in Vancouver, Canada, is also expected to soon host the business pair soon.

This comes after estimates from the expenses of the Presidential family in the four first weeks in office suggest the US government may end up spending hundreds of millions of dollars more than it did on the Obama, according to The Washington Post.

In New York, the city is paying $500,000 a day to guard Trump Tower, according to police officials’ estimates, an amount that could reach $183 million a year.

Meanwhile, agents also have to guard multiple homes to protect Mr Trump’s four children and his daughter Ivanka, who moved to a Washington neighbourhood.

Mr Trump’s three weekends in the Florida estate of Mar-a- Lago have also been expensive trips, putting more pressure on the Secret Service.

A veteran agent, who served under the Obamas, Jonathan Wackrow, said the pressure of the task was “monumental” and included manning high-security perimeters in Washington, Florida and New York, and protecting the family members’ business travel.

“It’s a logistical nightmare. Agents are at severe risk of burnout, and the very last thing you want is to have your agents burned out,” he told the Washington Post.

Upon arrival in Dubai, the US President’s sons were greeted with a private luncheon with Hussain Sajwani, the billionaire who runs Damac Properties and partnered with Mr Trump on the golf course.

This is the first major event abroad which the pair will attend together since their father's inauguration in January.

The 18-hole golf course is part of a larger project that will include 100 Trump-branded luxury villas in the deserts on the outskirts of Dubai.

Ties between one of the Trump Organisation subsidiaries and Mr Sajwani remain strong and the company received between $1m (£805,700) to $5m (£4m) from Damac for running the golf club, according to a US Federal Election Committee report submitted in May.

Mr Trump also told journalists last month, Damac offered the Trump Organisation $2bn (£1.6bn) in deals after his elections, which was later confirmed by Damac.

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