Secret service

Taxpayers Spent Nearly $250,000 on the Trump Sons' Business Trips

The costs incurred by the Secret Service to protect President Trump's two oldest sons is astounding.

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BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS/Newscom

Taxpayers were stuck with a nearly $250,000 bill for Secret Service costs incurred on a pair of business trips taken last February by President Donald Trump's two oldest sons, according to documents released by a watchdog group.

"The Secret Service documents, received through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, shed light on how much taxpayers are paying for trips taken by the heads of the president's private business empire," according to a statement from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-leaning advocacy group that has sparred with the Trump administration.

Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, who took control of the Trump Organization after their father was elected president, were accompanied by Secret Service agents on a February 2017 trip to Dubai for the opening of a Trump International Golf Club. That trip cost the Secret Service more than $200,000, "including about $125,000 for airfare, $75,000 for hotel rooms and more than $15,000 for 'other' expenses including cell phones, car service and other transportation," CREW said. The group added that Donald Jr. and Eric visited Dubai again in 2018, though that trip cost the Secret Service just $73,000.

Eric Trump also had Secret Service protection when he traveled to the Dominican Republic the same month as the Dubai trip, again on Trump Organization business. As CREW noted, "when compared to the bill taxpayers were stuck with from Dubai, the Dominican Republic trip was a bargain at just more than $30,000 for airfare, hotel rooms, auto rental and additional expenses."

It's not necessarily Donald Jr. and Eric's fault that the Secret Service follows them around, as it's standard practice for the children of presidents to receive protection. Chelsea Clinton was protected, as were Jenna and Barbara, the twin daughters of George W. Bush. After their fathers were out of office, all three presidential daughters also got a period of extended Secret Service protection. Moreover, Barack Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, were even shadowed by Secret Service agents during their spring break trips.

As The Atlantic noted when Rep. Steve King (R–Iowa) erupted over Secret Service spending on Sasha and Malia's trips, presidential progeny have been accompanied on their vacations for decades and critics are usually partisan. CREW, which was helmed by Clinton critic-turned-crony David Brock until Dec. 2016, has challenged Trump at every turn, from filing a suit alleging he violated the Emolument Clause, to filing a suit alleging that Trump deleting his tweets violates the Presidential Records Act. It is not surprising that they found yet another reason to criticize the Trump administration.

But CREW also has a point.

Chelsea Clinton was just 12 years old when her father took office, the Bush daughters were 19, and Malia and Sasha were 10 and 7, respectively. Donald Jr. is 40 and Eric is 34; private security for trips to benefit the family empire are a legitimate business expense, and one they should perhaps shoulder on their own.

Secret Service protection is mandatory for presidents and vice presidents, but it's optional for everyone else. If those two want protection when enriching themselves overseas, they should pay for it themselves.

NEXT: Rep. Justin Amash Slams Trump/Putin Press Conference: POTUS Spoke 'Like the Head of a Vassal State'

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  1. The headline of the article does not reflect how reasonable the content of the article actually reads. Click bait?

    1. Very much so. Should have said “Secret Service doesn’t have any idea how to not waste the taxpayers money.” I sure would like to see the $75,000 hotel room.

    2. My closest companion’s ex makes Bucks75/hr on the PC. She has been jobless for eight months yet a month ago
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  2. But CREW also has a point.

    Chelsea Clinton was just 12 years old when her father took office, the Bush daughters were 19, and Malia and Sasha were 10 and 7, respectively. Donald Jr. is 40 and Eric is 34; private security for trips to benefit the family empire are a legitimate business expense, and one they should perhaps shoulder on their own.

    Unless the protection ended for these 12, 19, and 10 year-olds when they were 18 (and their fathers were still in office), he doesn’t actually have a point or, at least, his overall point of “taxpayers shouldn’t be paying for protection of non-political persons” is just as much diluted by partisanship as the rest of it.

    1. Do you not see any distinction between a 19 year old traveling vs. a 40 year old traveling to enrich himself and his family? I’m genuinely curious. I see the distinction, but maybe other reasonable people don’t?

      1. Good point. Should the Secret Service travel with an adult Michelle Obama on a luxury vacation (also paid in full by the taxpayer) without her husband so she can relax?

        1. If spouses are not on the “required” list that the article references, I don’t think so. Did that happen?

          1. 18 USC 3056: “Under the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security, the United States Secret Service is authorized to protect the following persons: (1)The President, the Vice President (or other officer next in the order of succession to the Office of the President), the President-elect, and the Vice President-elect. (2) The immediate families of those individuals listed in paragraph (1).”

            There is also a provision for “children of a FORMER president who are under 16 years of age,” and the protections for all categories except Pres and VP, “may be DECLINED.”

            My point is that there is no age limit for protection of the immediate family of the President, and for good reason. Is the President likely to be effective and make good decisions if one of his sons is abducted on a business trip?

            I don’t have a problem with Michelle Obama’s trips and protection either, because it makes sense to protect her.

            If you want to remove adults from protection and force them to pay their own way, call your representatives.

            1. Also, as I indicated below, it’s not like some terrorists are going to capture the President’s 14 or 40 yr. old kid, force him to dispatch the 6th fleet, and the VP and Joint Chiefs will just click their heels, salute, and go dispatch the 6th fleet.

              I don’t mean to portray the idea that the President’s kids are in no danger as much as you’d have to be dumb to think it’s a good idea for pretty much any reason. Really dumb.

              1. I mean, terrorists would kill them just for the effect it would bring if they could.

                1. Trump’s kids are wealthy. What if they weren’t? Would people here expect an adult child of a president to lay for their own security if they were living off a normal middle class to upper middle class income?

                  1. Whether or not they are wealthy should not matter.

                    1. I agree, but that doesn’t answer my question. Only a wealthy person can afford to pay for Secret Service protection.

      2. Do you not see any distinction between a 19 year old traveling vs. a 40 year old traveling to enrich himself and his family? I’m genuinely curious. I see the distinction, but maybe other reasonable people don’t?

        Are we talking about a 40 yr. old Malia Obama or a 19 yr. old Donald Jr.? Either way, the differences are easy, she’s a black woman and he’s a white male. He’s probably a little heavier than she is but she probably literally comes with more baggage.

        Or did you mean in some relevant legal or tactically defensible sense? Then the answer is “No.” If 19 yr. old Donald Jr. is going to the vacation in the DR and 40 yr. old Malia’s on a business trip in Dubai, both should either forego the SS detail or pay out of pocket.

        1. Then the answer is “No.” If 19 yr. old Donald Jr. is going to the vacation in the DR and 40 yr. old Malia’s on a business trip in Dubai, both should either forego the SS detail or pay out of pocket.

          Or forego the trip entirely.

        2. Again, what if the presedints children weren’t rich? Then what? They have to go into hiding at their own expense for 4-8 years based on their father being elected president?

      3. No, I don’t see the difference.

        Is the 40 year old not supposed to travel?

        Or is he supposed to eat the Secret Service costs just because the US chose to elect his father as President? Something about the sins of the father?

        The point of security is to prevent the President being taken hostage (indirectly). That seems to apply whether the child is 14 or 40.

      4. The distinction I see is that, given the political climate, the Trump sons are in far more danger than the daughters of the previous Presidents.

        1. True. A progressive already nearly murders Steve Scalise. And with Maxine Waters advocating for attacks on anyone remotely connected to Trump, it wouldn’t surprised me in the least if one or more of her minions tried to murder a member of the Trump family.

          1. They really would if they could.

  3. Cool. So Next up we’re going to see the article analyzing the taxes paid back into the treasury by the Trump sons on whatever profits were made as a result of the business deals on those trips, right? Right?

    1. That’s some sophisticated analysis that sounds like a good idea (I guess to see how egregious the costs may be). I think the writer will need to get the tax docs from the trump family though. Did that ever happen?

      1. Probably not, because its easier to be outraged than to actually do journalism.

      2. Doesnt Trump only take $1 a year in salary?

        Factor in the money he gives back to the treasury to pay for protection for his kids.

  4. I like the implicit sexism of claiming that only children of presidents should get protection if said offspring are broads (reason’s words) and that men should be able to take care of themselves. You just set the whole women’s liberation movement back 50 years, Setyon.

    1. Better than some progtard creature like you.

  5. http://www.sacbee.com/news/pol…..35264.html

    This is a drop in the bucket compared to the tax money spent on Michelle Obama and the Obama kids’ vacations. And for the entire Obama administration, reason never ran a single article or said a single word about these expenses.

    That doesn’t mean that the expenses under Trump are good. Two wrongs do not make a right. The fact that reason never said anything about it under Obama, does, however, show what a partisan hack magazine reason has become. Things that didn’t matter under Obama suddenly are a serious matter under Trump. That is the textbook definition of partisan hackery.

    1. Here’s one of the many things from the Reason newsfeed about Obamas vacations. Hell, it looks like YOU even got the hat tip.

      https://reason.com/24-7/2013/03…..-for-membe

      1. Good catch. I stand corrected.

        1. Dont worry John. Obama did not take $1 per year in presidential salary AND took numerous family trips to Hawaii, etc.

          They just attack you because they know this article is TDS and they want to shut up any dissent by appealing to your ethos.

          1. Trump does not decline his salary as president. He claims he donates his current salary (net?) to charity, but informed audiences (and prosecutors) discount Donald Trump’s charity-related claims.

            1. Constitutionally the president has to accept pay but he can donate it or give it back to the treasury.

      2. Poor John experienced eight years of ODS. Cut him a break. He is still on Prozak.

        1. In his defense, it was 2013. The EU had tried to force Cyprus to seize bank deposits, the UN was talking about sanctioning N. Korea causing them to threaten to void the armistice and effect a pre-emptive nuclear strike, Syria had gassed some people and we were thinking about going to war for it, and we were only ~6 mos. away from the Battle of Benghazi. But I think the one that really hit home for John was that Hugo Chavez had just died.

          So, I could see how he could be forgiven for a touch of ODS.

          1. He really went off the deep end back then – also Romney lost causing John to question his god(s).

          2. It was a simpler time. I long for those days.

        2. “Poor John experienced eight years of ODS. Cut him a break. He is still on Prozak.”

          As Obama is a communist traitor who used his presidency to create a managed decline of the US, there is nosuxh thing as ODS. If anything, one can’t be concerned enough over Obama’s evil works. In,cueing his ongoing capitulation to Putin, and the Chinese.

          You’re a traitor too PB, so fuck you as well.

      3. The article did mention the number of vacation trips that Obama took but no one at Reason took the time to assess just how much these vacations cost the taxpayer.

  6. What is that like 2 seconds of federal spending?

    1. Ha that was a guess but it was dead on. The government spends $126,839.16 a second on 4 trillion dollar budget.

  7. Don’t disagree that they should be paying for their own security.

    But the usual headlines acting like this is some unprecedented nonsense are tiresome and boring.

  8. I consider the expense the cost of not dealing with the inevitable massive increase in the security state that would result if a Presidential child were harmed.

    1. I had considered this. There is, however, I think an added intrinsic ‘big stick’ deterrent though. It’d practically be a suicide mission and targeting children for what would, at most, amount to murder (the VP, Congress, and Joint Chiefs aren’t just going to sit around while terrorists try to extort the President into action) doesn’t exactly win followers. If history’s any indication, it would be easier and more politically beneficial to just take a shot at the President directly.

  9. Please: let’s leave the children out of this.

    1. Unless we are posting pictures of Ivanka. That’s cool.

  10. Holy fuck, imagine my surprise to see a bunch of libertarians defending Secret Service protection for Trump family business trips.

    1. Name one. Quote one. John isn’t one.

      1. That’s what I thought.

    2. Think of the children!

    3. The president cannot do his job if his kids are kidnapped.

      Once we get all the Lefty wastes of money like Social Security, welfare, Medicare, etc then Lefties have some room to talk.

      1. And once we’re out of Afghanistan and Iraq the righties might have some room to talk.

        1. OBama could have gotten us out of Afghanistan and Iraq. He didnt.

          1. True. But Trump has been president for a year and a half now and he hasn’t either.

            People crying “but Bush did it!” when Obama was president was dumb, and people doing the same about Obama now is similarly dumb.

            1. Trump said he would pull out of afghanistan but not let the enemy know when.

              I want him to pull all troops out of all overseas locales immediately.

              Obama ran on pulling put troops immediately and he never did. In fact, LBJ and obama are are wartime presidents having us troops involved in warnduring their entire terms.

          2. Just think of the savings that’ll roll in once Obama shuts down Guantanamo!

    4. I didn’t see that, but perhaps they wouldn’t need it if crazy leftists like you weren’t threatening their lives all the time.

  11. All the possible expenses because the kids of Presidents were kidnapped or killed just makes Secret Service protection for President, VP, and families cheaper than the alternative.

    Members of Congress can easily carry out business even if a few members of Congress were attacked.

    I would also advocate secret service protection for SCOTUS justices if some lunatics starting trying to change the makeup of the court by hurting them.

    ALL THE MONEY THAT IS SPENT ON WELFARE, SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, AND THE MILITARY…. and this is what some Lefty hack focuses on.

    1. Of course Reason doesn’t mention that Trump is slashing the White House payroll to the tune of $22 million over his first term. Maybe if Democrats weren’t so violent then Trump Jr wouldn’t need this extra protection. 250K seems like a small price to pay for Trump letting Democrats show their true destructive colors.

      1. This isn’t about Trump. It’s about taxpayers paying for business and vacation expenses for presidential families.

        1. Either we have an honest discussion about who and when certain people the secret service protection this seems like a hit piece..

          Currently the presidents kids get secret service protection like Obama’s kids, and Boosh’s kids.

          1. I don’t think we should be paying for the protection of Clinton’s, Bush’s, or Obama’s kids at this point. They are no longer President.

        2. “This isn’t about Trump. It’s about taxpayers paying for business and vacation expenses for presidential families.”

          In the case of his adult sons, taxpayers are not paying for their vacations. Taxpayers are covering the security cost ony.

  12. I say don’t pay for any security that isn’t necessary. If the president’s family wants to take vacations or business trips, they can bear the entire expense themselves. If you don’t like it, don’t be president.

    1. Yeah, it should be part of the family sacrifice to not take as many vacations if they cannot afford it during the president’s tenure. In return, they get a lot of benefits being part of the presidential family anyway. So it is a fair tradeoff if they do not want to shoulder the costs.

  13. Well if the left wasn’t threatening Trump and his family and staff with violence everyday maybe they wouldn’t have to have all that protection. its kind of like tarrifs its a two way street

    1. Another freeper making his way to reason.
      This is a bipartisan issue. I didnt like it when Obama’s kids were taking vacations without Obama offering to pick up part of the tab. I don’t like it more when you have adults doing business without trying to minnimize costs by at least making an efficient schedule. Or the president’s wife choosing to stay in NYC for a year when the son could find a top notch school in DC and incurring incredible costs for security.

  14. If you kidnap them, you’d have to look at them. They’re safe.

    1. Tony, that line was, and continues to be, used with regard to kidnapping Marxist Muchella, what with that ginormous rear end of hers.

  15. Anything to prevent S1E1 of Black Mirror from coming to life.

  16. When the government lost my info because my father works for the feds, they wouldn’t pay for the credit check company because I wasn’t a minor (my brother got it and my dad got it). They are adults and can pay for themselves too.

    At the very least they should be given a minimum dollar figure that they must budget themselves. Go over $250,000.00 a year and you pick up the rest of the tab. You want to stay in a 5 star hotel on the penthouse floor with the whole detail then you pay for the extra cost of that.

  17. Who cares? Blame the government for the ridiculous price tag. This so obviously has nothing to do with his sons.

    I’m embarrassed that this clickbait is presented on this website.

  18. Where’s the Reason article on their boyfriend, Jeff Flake, trying to intro a resolution in support of America’s fine, upstanding intelligence services who have never, ever lied or gotten anything wrong? Did I miss that? Surely, they’re not overlooking their boyfriend’s besties, are they?

    1. Jeff Flake per the permission of his 8 sister wives has chosen Lindsey Graham as his lover now that John McCain made his nose crooked from slamming his crotch into his face .Lindsey is more gentle!

  19. $250K ! OMG, that will break the bank for sure ! That lady that had the wanker for a husband had Secret Service protection while working for the Clinton Foundation ! OMG! . This one of those “picking fly shit out of pepper ” complaints.
    Throw in that the first lady has what ? one tenth the staff and expenses of the previous two first ladies.
    Add up total costs and then come to us. This is nonsense

  20. I really am happy that the media, including the one sponsoring this site, is finally adopting an adversarial position to the POTUS. Really! That is what the media is supposed to do, dammit.
    I just wish they might have done it a bit earlier:
    “Obama runs $100M vacation tab on taxpayers”
    https://www.onenewsnow.com/legal-
    courts/2017/01/02/obama-runs-
    100m-vacation-tab-on-taxpayers

    1. They would not have adopted this adversarial position if Hillary had won.

  21. And so are the number of death threats from insane Leftists like you.

  22. It’s too bad they require such protection because of the threats and violence from the democrat side.

  23. I think there should be a limit on expenditure. And adult spawn older than 25 should not be covered. The family should pay for those trips. not the taxpayer. Or a trip allowance is given ala company per diems. Each year, the family gets 500K for security coverage of family members for non official business. You exceed that you pay for it.

    1. No.

      So if I am the adult child of a sitting president who is an adult, and I work in something that involves a lot of travel, like outside sales, I am going to need ongoing protection during travel. That can get expensive. Not every family member of a president is rich. So your plan will bankrupt most individuals.

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