Updated Sept. 27, 2017: Donald Trump Jr.’s Secret Service protection has been reactivated just one week after the president’s eldest son kicked them to the curb in favor of more privacy.
It’s unclear what prompted Trump Jr. to reinstate his security detail, but CNN reported on Monday that the Secret Service had tried to convince him to keep his protection when he initially decided to drop it, CNN reported.
As long as President Donald Trump is in the White House, members of his immediate family are entitled to protection, though it is not required by law. Those under protection are free to cancel their Secret Service detail at any time for any reason.
Originally published Sept. 19, 2017: Donald Trump Jr. is giving up his Secret Service protection and top White House adviser Kellyanne Conway is losing hers, moves sure to bring big savings to the financially-strapped agency.
A source close to President Donald Trump said Trump Jr, the president’s eldest son, decided to cease his protective detail last week in favor of more privacy, The New York Times reported.
Kellyanne Conway will also no longer be protected by agents, but the paper did not say whether that decision was left to the senior White House official.
The Secret Service refused to confirm the information in a statement to USA Today saying, “to ensure the safety and security of our protectees and their families we will not confirm who is currently receiving Secret Service protection.”
Whatever the motives, the decision to suspend protective services is certainly a welcome move for the Secret Service. The agency’s resources have been under intense strain since the Trump administration took over due to the size and lifestyle of the Trump family and the president’s inner circle.
The Secret Service has been scrambling to pay hundreds of agents and in August, Director Randolph “Tex” Alles said more than 1,000 agents had already hit federally mandated overtime pay caps meant to last them the entire year.
Under Trump, the agency is protecting 42 people — a number that includes 18 family members. That’s up from 31 during the Obama administration. The Secret Service does not decide who falls under its protection and the agency is required by law to provide round-the-clock security to members of the president’s immediate family unless instructed to stop.
It’s unclear if Trump Jr.’s decision to cease protection extends to his wife, Vanessa, and their five children. Conway’s protection was not covered by statute.
Trump and his adult children, the rest of who are still protected by the Secret Service, have cost the agency big in travel expenses. Trump Jr. and his brother Eric Trump, both Trump Organization executives, take frequent business trips, one of which cost the Secret Service almost $100,000 in hotel rooms alone.