The media is just looking to sensationalize, it would appear.
Ask yourself, what impression do you get from a story headlined “Exclusive: Secret Service depletes funds to pay agents because of Trump’s frequent travel, large family?” From that headline — which appeared in USA Today — you’d probably expect to learn that the Secret Service’s funds to pay agents have been depleted due to Trump’s frequent travel, and large family.
And, you would be wrong — mainly because USA Today is wrong. What was their reasoning for blaming Trump? Note that the Secret Service’s budget is running into trouble — and then just assume it’s thanks to Trump and his large family. That’s literally it. They were hardly the only ones, as the story spread like wildfire throughout the liberal media.
The Service’s fiscal problems, according to Dan Bongino (a former Secret Service agent himself), truly stem from an expansion in duties assigned to the agents overall:
“The reason the Secret Service is forced to work its agents on unsustainable overtime and travel schedules has little to do with the size of Trump’s family. The portfolio of protectors expanded dramatically after the September 11 attacks during the G.W. Bush administration, too. It also has little to do with the travel schedule. Barack Obama kept a heavy travel schedule throughout most of his presidency,” Bongino wrote in an op-ed on Conservative Review.
But don’t just take his word for it — the Secret Service’s own director concurs that Trump really has little to do with it. As the Daily Wire noted:
Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, in clarification to USA Today’s breathless report, later said funding for roughly 1,100 agents working overtime in 2017 is not an issue “that can be attributed to the current Administration’s protection requirements alone, but rather has been an ongoing issue for nearly a decade due to an overall increase in operational tempo.”
“The Secret Service has the funding it needs to meet all current mission requirements for the remainder of the fiscal year and compensate employees for overtime within statutory pay caps,” he said in the statement. “The Secret Service estimates that roughly 1,100 employees will work overtime hours in excess of statutory pay caps during calendar year 2017. Our agency experienced a similar situation in calendar year 2016 that resulted in legislation that allowed Secret Service employees to exceed statutory caps on pay.”
The statement continued: “To remedy this ongoing and serious problem, the agency has worked closely with the Department of Homeland Security, the administration, and the Congress over the past several months to find a legislative solution.”
Another day, another fake news story.