Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin traveled to Israel in June to scout potential investments for his new company, then flew to Qatar for a conference. Mnuchin had been out of the White House for five months at the time.
However, due to an order issued by President Donald Trump, he was still entitled to Secret Service protection. According to government spending records, as agents followed Mnuchin across the Middle East, the US government paid up to $3,000 each for their plane tickets and $11,000 for rooms at Qatar’s opulent St. Regis Doha.
However, according to the records, Trump’s order required the Secret Service to devote agents and money to an unexpected group of people: wealthy adults with no role in government, whom the agents followed to ski vacations, weekend houses, a Cabo San Lucas resort, and business trips abroad.
The Secret Service declined to comment, other than to say that it “balances operational security requirements with judicious resource allocation.”
Questions were not answered by Trump’s post-presidential office. The Post sent messages to each of the seven people who were given extra protection. Five people did not respond, including all of Trump’s adult children. Former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, for one, declined to comment.
Mnuchin, the seventh, said through a spokesman that he had not asked Trump for the extra security. Mnuchin, like the others, could have declined Secret Service protection after it was offered.
He gave his children Trump Jr., 43, Ivanka, 39, Eric, 37, Tiffany, 27, and their spouses six months of extra security, as well as Mnuchin, Meadows, and former national security adviser Robert C. O’Brien.
The Post obtained Secret Service records detailing the cost of protecting all seven people in order to estimate the cost of Trump’s decision. For five of them, records cover the entire six-month period, detailing the costs of purchasing plane tickets, renting cars, and booking hotel rooms for agents on protective duty. The Post examined records covering the first four months for the other two — Tiffany Trump and O’Brien — which had previously been obtained by the Washington-based watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.
The records began on January 20, just hours after Trump left office.
Agents also accompanied Kushner, now a private businessman, to the United Arab Emirates in May, paying $9,000 for hotel rooms, according to federal spending data available online. The Secret Service did not disclose the cost of Kushner’s airfare. The Ritz Carlton in Abu Dhabi, according to The Daily Beast, was Kushner’s choice, according to a government spending document.
According to the records, Ivanka Trump’s adult siblings were less expensive to protect. Tiffany Trump, a recently married law school graduate, appeared to be the least expensive to protect. According to the partial records, the Secret Service had spent $56,000 on airfare, rental cars, and hotels while protecting her as of May.
According to the records, the brothers primarily shuttled between their homes in New York and South Florida, with an occasional side trip in between. Trump Jr. spent the day fishing in Montana. Eric Trump, the Trump Organization’s most visible leader, visited Trump hotels in Washington and Chicago.
When he did, the Trump Organization charged agents who stayed in the former president’s properties, just as it did when his sister visited the Bedminster club: $350 for rooms in Washington, $1,415 in Chicago.
According to Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, these charges, while minor, represent a moral decision for the Trump family. If they wanted to reduce the burden of their extended protection on taxpayers, this was an easy opportunity. Simply do not charge for rooms at Trump properties.
In this way, Trump’s children were following in their father’s footsteps. He has lived full-time at his own properties since leaving office, charging the Secret Service for rooms every night. The total bill has now surpassed $72,000. It is almost certain to expand: Trump, unlike his children, has life insurance.