Shocking new graphs highlight the extreme increase in Secret Service protected trips taken by family members of the president during the Donald Trump administration.
In the last three fiscal years, Trump family members – not including the President or First Lady Melania Trump – have taken 4,000 trips that needed Secret Service protection.
According to data released by the Department of the Treasury, trips in the past two fiscal years were three times more than was taken by former President Obama’s family between 2010 and 2016.
The numbers look even worse when narrowed down to the last fiscal year alone, when the Trump family took more trips that required Secret Service protection than the Obama family took in seven years.
The information was released in a budget document from the Treasury Department, which oversees the Secret Service.
There has been a staggering increase in the number of trips protected by the secret service taken by POTUS family members since Trump came into office in 2016
Ivanka Trump has required secret service protection as she travels as her father’s advisor and as the US first daughter. She is seen here during a visit to the Taj Mahal in February
Trump family members require secret service protection while on the campaign trail. Pictured is Donald Trump Jr. speaking during a ‘Keep America Great’ rally at Southern New Hampshire
The Treasury Department data broke down the number of trips that were taken by the President, the First Lady, the President’s family, the Vice President, the Second Lady, the VP’s family and then former officials such as former presidents.
During the Obama administration between 2010 and 2016, the number of trips taken by former officials far exceeded those taken by any of the other categories.
The next highest number of trips were taken by the President and Vice President, followed by the First Lady’s trips.
According the department, a Secret Service protected trip is any ‘any instance that an individual protectee spends time within the jurisdiction of a single USSS field office, other than the protectee’s home district’.
US President’s daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner are seen during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem in 2018. Official family member trips such as these have seen a marked increase in Trump’s administration
Eric and Lara Trump address the crowd at the start of President Donald Trump’s rally in Texas in October 2018. Trump’s eldest children often travel as a surrogate for the president
Donald Trump Jr., son of President Donald Trump, speaks on stage during the Conservative Political Action Conference 2020. The first son and his siblings require secret service protection for such trips which have seen a staggering increase in the past three years
This data was compiled and analysed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, who then compared the number of trips to those taken in the years of the Trump administration.
Between 2010 and 2016, there were 4,700 trips taken by Barack and Michelle Obama and their family.
Less than 1,000 of these were taken by members of the family excluding Michelle.
This compares to 4,560 trips in the past three years that were taken only by members of the first family excluding the president and first lady.
The majority of these were taken in the past two years.
As the Treasury department’s fiscal year runs from October through September, the 2017 fiscal year would have included four months of the Obama presidency.
With these taken away, it can be estimated that Trump family members have taken somewhere around 4,000 protected trips during the presidency.
The graph above created from Treasury Department data shows that during the Obama years, the vast majority of trips were taken by former officials such as former presidents
Whereas during the Obama administration, family member trips were a small category, they now outstrip the secret service protection needed by former officials.
In the past two fiscal years, there were 50 percent more family member trips than former official trips.
The number of family member trips taken jumped from 121 in the fiscal year 2016 to 1,311 in 2017 after Trump was elected.
In 2019, they amounted to 40 percent of total trips.
On average, according to the data, Obama’s family took 133.3 protected trips per year, while the Trump family has taken an average of 1,625 annually.
Ivanka Trump, the daughter and assistant to President Donald Trump, and White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner
Signs of the vast increase in costs to the secret service in protecting Trump family members on trips came as early as 2017, when they warned that a larger budget was required or secret service agents would need to perform overtime unpaid.
According to the Washington Post at the time, ‘the cost of protecting the president and members of the extended first family, who have traveled extensively for business and vacations, has strained the Secret Service, local governments and at least one other federal agency, the Coast Guard’.
In the past few years, Trump’s eldest children have taken the most trips as a representative of the White House administration, campaigning for their father across the country, or on trips with their own business.
Eldest daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner are both members of the Trump administration and Ivanka has accompanied President Trump on several trips as his senior advisor, such as the one to South Korea and Japan in July 2019.
In January 2020, it was estimated that her secret service vehicles would add an extra $34,000 to the cost of the administration’s two-day trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos.
In 2018, it was reported by USA Today that the secret service cost of protecting Trump’s two eldest sons, Don Jr. And Eric, could cost as much as $230,000 a month.
Eric Trump attends the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit at Union West Events in October 2019. At the time of his election, Trump had four children who were college age or older
Donald Trump Jr. visits SiriusXM Studios in February. Trump family members have taken somewhere around 4,000 protected trips during the presidency
The increase in the number of Secret Service protected trips between this administration and the last may come as a result of the higher profile of Trump’s children, who were already known before he became president.
At the time of his election, Trump had four children who were college age or older whereas President Obama’s two daughters Malia and Sasha were teenagers while they lived in the White House.
Many of Trump’s own trips are to properties he owns, a practice that he has been forced to abandon in recent weeks because of the coronavirus shutdown.
This now marks the second-longest stretch of time during his presidency that Trump as not visited a gold course.
The longest was during the government shutdown at the end of 2018 into early 2019.
Before being elected president, Trump was highly critical of the time that former President Obama spent golfing and even criticized his vacations to his native Hawaii.