Saturday, April 29, 2017

CNN Panel on President Trump's Racist and Crazy speech today. 'I AM SAD FOR AMERICA TONIGHT!'

Watch the video!!

CNN’s panel tonight almost erupted over President Trump‘s speech in Harrisburg, which some on the panel found to be horribly divisive. (David Gergen called it “the most divisive speech I’ve ever heard from an American president.”)
Paul Begala, for one, called the president a “moral midget and a deeply insecure person” who is bothered by losing the popular vote, adding that Trump is a “needy little baby.”
But then former Governor Jennifer Granholm said, “I am so, so sad for America tonight listening to this speech… Ronald Reagan would never have given such an utterly divisive speech.”
She was appalled by Trump recycling some of his campaign material––from attacking the media to reciting “The Snake”––and told the rest of the panel, “I want to take a shower.”
But it was Granholm contrasting Trump with Barack Obama that set Rick Santorum off. Granholm said Obama talked about “calling people to a higher place,” and Santorum shot back that Obama “deeply offended” him and a whole lot of other people because “he was morally condescending, calling people bigots and racists” and scolding people’s religious beliefs.
Paris Dennard circled back to Begala and scolded him for using phrases like “moral midget” to attack Trump, saying that people need to show “a little bit more respect in how we talk about him.”
Begala shot back that he respects the office, “not the man,” and he said that even George W. Bush showed an earnest attempt to unify the country. Trump, he argued, is doing the exact opposite and is “making it worse.”

100 Days of President Trump: A second rate salesman surrounded by Con Men and Losers.

Saturday will mark the 100th year — sorry, the 100th day — of Donald Trump’s presidency. And what a white-knuckle ride it has been for the world.
The obsession with a president’s accomplishments in the first 100 days of a presidency is often maddening. But it can also be useful, in that the way a new administration handles all these challenges can set the tone for the next four to eight years and determine whether it will go down in history as a success or failure.
After 100 days, we can say this about Donald Trump and his team: History will not be kind.
At the rate Trump is going, the internet could run out of space, long before he leaves office, cataloging all his administration’s deficiencies as a functional entity, its destruction of governing norms and the hash it has made of both domestic and foreign policy. But two observations from the first 100 days stand out to me.
The first is the extent to which Trump’s struggles can be attributed to his pronounced tendency to staff his administration with mediocre, two-bit hustlers and con men whose careers indicate that they have a lot more luck than smarts or talent.
Two profiles published this week drive home this point. The first is The New Yorker’s look at the Hollywood career of Steve Bannon, Trump’s “senior strategist,” whose nationalist policies, bungled initiatives and, most important to a president who loves to be the center of attention, increased media profile have quickly reduced Bannon’s influence in the West Wing.
The myth surrounding Bannon is one of a conservative who, through sheer pluck and hard work, carved out a place in ultraliberal Hollywood to make well-regarded documentaries with right-wing themes. In this telling, Bannon is sort of a guerrilla filmmaker operating behind enemy lines, making movies and running Breitbart News as he helped build the propaganda machine that Trump rode to the White House.
In The New Yorker’s telling, he was like thousands of low-level self-proclaimed movie industry geniuses with an ego the size of Rhode Island, hustling and scraping for deals and money to get his projects off the ground. Or as one source who worked with him told the article’s author:
What I saw was a smart guy, who was funny and likable and enjoyable, who had a quick laugh, who was ineffectual” . . . Bannon “was one of those guys who always had big stuff about to happen,” he said. “But, after a quarter or two or seven, you become highly skeptical. Ultimately, we parted ways.”
Tellingly, people who knew Bannon in that era describe him as wanting to “destroy the Hollywood establishment.” Having failed to do that, he switched his target to the Washington establishment. He has had about as much success in D.C. as he had in Los Angeles, having become an impediment to functional government, with disastrous consequences for his boss’ administration.
The other profile is a BuzzFeed feature on Sebastian Gorka, who worked for Bannon at Breitbart before being named as a counterterrorism adviser in the Trump administration. As the British-born son of Hungarian émigrés, Gorka returned to Hungary in his early 20s, determined to make some sort of mark as a national security expert and political figure. Instead, he became known as, as BuzzFeed noted, a “self-promoter, who exaggerated claims about his past,” a hustler who inflated his credentials in an ultimately doomed bid for fame.
The fact that a BS artist like Gorka has failed upward into the White House is, as BuzzFeed makes clear, a source of endless hilarity to the Hungarians who know him.
That Trump would surround himself with mediocrities on the back end of less-than-illustrious careers should not surprise anyone familiar with the casts of Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice.” It turns out, though, that having an eye for D-list talent doesn’t really translate into being the leader of the free world. Who knew?
The second observation that stands out about the president’s first 100 days in office is just how thoroughly his self-created image as the consummate deal-maker has been punctured and deflated.
For all the vaunted negotiating skill that Trump bragged about during his campaign, he has shown himself to be a paper tiger. There is a long list of deals and ultimatums from which Trump has backed down from at the first hint of pushback — Obamacare repeal, making Mexico pay for the wall, the nuclear deal with Iran, his rejections of NATO and the North American Free Trade Agreement and quite a few others.
Trump’s dealmaking abilities were supposed to be his big selling point. But what he has principally demonstrated in 100 days as president is a pattern of trying to shake down his opponents for money, then backing off when the other party pushes back. Congressional Democrats have duly noted the president’s tendency to back down when confronted. More ominously, so have other nations.
A blustering, easily cowed president surrounded by venal and untalented washouts. Only 1,360 days until they leave office, after doing what we can only hope will be minimal damage to the country and the world.


Click and Watch the Video.

Bill Maher’s “New Rules” commentary Friday advised liberals to stop trying to convince Trump supporters that they’re wrong by using facts. “You’re wasting your breath.”
“Trump supporters aren’t changing their minds because the problem isn’t in the mind. It’s lower. It’s emotional,” Maher said. “He could have Ann Frank’s skeleton in his closet. They’d all vote for him again.”
Asking why, Maher walked through the cultural crisis many of the undervalued white voters face that Trump managed to harness. “I think it’s a gut feeling that the world has changed and they don’t like it,” he said. “Trump is going to change it back to the way it was.”
Speaking occasionally in a thick southern accent, Maher railed against “damn Mexicans” flooding baseball fields like “the parking lot at Home Depot.” He was furious about two boys kissing on the kiss-cam. “And did I mention Bruce Jenner has tits now?”
“I ain’t no racist, but why does American need to have a black Santa Claus?” Maher asked. “I think I speak for most liberals when I say, I don’t care about black Santa. I don’t think it’s going to make the Little Drummer Boy start cutting himself. But to Trump voters, making Santa black is unthinkable. It’d be like making Jesus Middle Eastern.”
Maher revealed that looking at the hit musical Hamilton, many Trump supporters see America’s founding fathers turned into a band of hip-hop revolutionaries funkified with their muskets.
“This is why building that stupid wall is still a key issue for them,” Maher explained. “It represents keeping out not just immigrants but everything that is new and different and scary and unfamiliar.”
Maher said that his new “character” got used to having people bend over backward so that he would feel comfortable. “Trump voters, they’re not exactly racists. They just think that everybody who’s not white is doing it to show off.”
Maher named famous black actors whose names are things like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o. In the 1950s, Maher said that they would be forced to change their names to accommodate whites.
“If you ask a Trump voter what exactly it means to get their country back or make it great again, they can’t tell you specifically, but they know the Hollywood Squares was never supposed to look like this,” Maher said showing a woman twerking on the new remake of the game show.

99 Days of President Trump in 99 Seconds. by Colbert

Click and watch the video

In a 99 second clip, “The Late Show” with Stephen Colbert looked back at Donald Trump’s first 99 days in office.
The video takes news clips from each day Trump has spent in office and overlays them with text describing what happened that day in the Trump administration.
Day one shows inauguration, day two reminds viewers of the Trump administration’s claims that he had the “largest audience” ever at his inauguration, day three shows adviser Kellyanne Conway using the term “alternative facts” and so on until day 99.
The clip ends on day 99 with a quote from Trump saying the job is harder than he thought, referencing an interview where Trump said, “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
Trump’s 100th day in office is Saturday. He released a statement reviewing his first 100 days Friday, claiming that he had one of the “most successful” first 100 days of a presidential term in history.

Tthe PRESIDENT SHOW - GREAT!! Watch it. (On Comedy Central)

This is a new show on Comedy Central, it is very good.  Click the link and watch it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Trump Tax Plan: Custom made to benefit President Trump!! Everyone else is an afterthought.

The only thing about Donald Trump’s tax plan that fits on a postcard is Trump’s tax plan. Calling it a plan is an insult to plans. Saying that it’s one page is a tribute to white space. There’s not just no there there, there’s no there.
This is a plan whose highlight is that it brings individual tax brackets down to three, but doesn’t even say where those brackets start. It’s a plan that supposedly limits deductions to just mortgage interest and charitable deductions … but seems to have no idea what that would mean. The average person looking at the plan would have no idea how much less, or how much more, they would pay in taxes. But the average billionaire or corporation would make out like bandits.
Mr. Trump’s skeletal outline of a tax package, unveiled at the White House in a single-page statement filled with bullet points, was less a plan than a wish list. …
But they offered none of the standard accouterments of such rollouts, such as detailed charts showing the cost of each provision, phase-in periods, the impacts of the proposals on people and testimonials on the program’s potential benefits.
It could have been the world’s first number-free tax plan, were it not for the big number—cutting corporate tax rates to 15 percent. That huge corporate cut, along with eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, cutting the top tax rate, and eliminating the inheritance tax ensures that while the 99 percent may be in limbo when it comes to the not-a-plan, the 1 percent can start the celebration without seeing any details. And even though the plan contains less text than the average sweetener packet, it also includes one super bonus for business owners.
Especially notable is that the plan would allow "pass-through" entities, which let business owners treat their revenue as individual income, to qualify for the same 15 percent rate.
Trump’s Goldman Sachs sponsored economic team of Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn may indicate that the plan includes three brackets with rates of 10, 25, and 35 percent. But that special pass through provision means that those with enough business savvy to funnel their personal income through a corporation can keep their rate at the bottom, no matter their level of income.
"Pass-through" entities tend to benefit wealthy people like Trump, whose business empire includes a series of pass-throughs in which profits flow to him. The 15 percent rate would give the rich a giant incentive to route their income through pass-throughs to avoid the much higher 35 percent top rate on individual income.
In the few glances we’ve seen of Trump’s tax returns, he’s run into the Alternative Minimum Tax—a system expressly put in place to keep the wealthy from dodging taxes through complex dedications and shuffling funds off to tax havens. To no one’s surprise, Trump’s “plan” completely eliminates the AMT.
The plan repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is designed to ensure high earners pay at least some taxes even if they claim a large number of deductions. Trump's 2005 tax return, which journalist David Cay Johnston obtained in March, shows he paid $38 million in taxes on $152 million in income, but $31 million of his tax payment was due to the AMT.
And, in a move that’s certainly of interest to Ivanka, Donnie Jr. and Uday, the plan also immediately and completely drops the estate tax, which Republicans continue to pass off as something that affects “small businesses” and “family farms” though both the base numbers and special provisions have made the tax significant only on a handful of very large estates.
Trump would eliminate the estate tax, which only affects inheritances larger than $5.5 million for individuals and $11 million for families and could save his children tremendous amounts of money. His plan would also remove a 3.8 percent surcharge on investment income created by the Affordable Care Act that only affects higher income taxpayers.
Put it all together, and Trump’s plan would save tens of millions—for Trump. It would gift the wealthy with trillions in tax breaks over a decade. While those not in the top 1 percent of the top 1 percent would get … maybe nothing at all.
While not a perfect comparison, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center of Trump's campaign plan found that the average gains for the top 0.1 percent of earners would be 14 percent of their after-tax income, versus just 1.8 percent for the middle fifth of earners and 0.8 percent for the poorest fifth.
Under the best assumptions, someone earning $50,000 a year could expect savings of perhaps $350, which Trump hopes would be enough to make them ignore the fact that someone earning $5,000,000 a year would see over $400,000 in gains. 
In fact, the “benefits” to the middle class tax payer are so vague, Mnuchin wouldn’t guarantee that most people would not end up paying more. But the form, like the plan, would be shorter. Mnuchin and Cohn seem to think that Americans will cheerfully hand over trillions to the wealthy, or even pay more themselves, in exchange for having a shorter form.
If someone set out to build a plan that would ensure even greater income disparity, and lock in a class of entitled oligarchs whose wealth was protected across generations, they couldn’t have done a better job. And considering who designed this plan, that was exactly what they had in mind.

The BILLIONAIRE TAX GIVEAWAY is stealing from the Middle Class and Poor

What do you do if you’re a historically unpopular new president, with a record low approval rating by 14 points, facing investigations into the way Russia helped you get elected, with the media judging your first 100 days in office as the weakest of any modern president?
Why, you announce a tax cut!
And in your self-absorbed way, you announce a tax cut that will hugely benefit yourself. Imagine those millions saved! You feel better already!
I’m deeply skeptical that President Trump will manage to get a tax reform package passed into law, and that’s just as well. Trump’s new tax “plan” (more like an extremely vague plan for a plan) is an irresponsible, shameless, budget-busting gift to zillionaires like himself.
This isn’t about “jobs,” as the White House claims. If it were, it might cut employment taxes, which genuinely do discourage hiring. Rather, it’s about huge payouts to the wealthiest Americans — and deficits be damned! If Republicans embrace this “plan” after all their hand-wringing about deficits and debt, we should build a Grand Monument to Hypocrisy in their honor.
Continue reading the main story
Trump’s tax “plan” is a betrayal of his voters. He talks of helping ordinary Americans even as he enriches tycoons like himself.
For example, it’s great that the tax plan promises help with child care costs, a huge burden for low-income families, especially single moms. But Trump doesn’t explain what form his help will take.
Maybe he will eventually provide details, but in his campaign tax plan (which over all seems similar to the latest), fewer than 10 percent of low-income households with children would get anything at all, according to a study by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in February. It added that under the campaign plan, families earning between $10,000 and $30,000 a year would receive an average child care benefit of just $10.
In fairness, Trump’s proposal does include some sensible elements. Raising the standard deduction is smart and would simplify everything, reducing cheating and the need for record-keeping because millions of filers would no longer itemize deductions.
But the heart of Trump’s “plan” is to lower taxes for corporations and the affluent. It would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, without which Trump would have paid less than 4 percent in taxes for 2005; with it, he paid 25 percent.
Conservatives emphasize that the official top corporate tax rate in the U.S. is too high, and they have a point. The top rate for American corporations — almost 39 percent, including a 35 percent federal rate and a bit more for the average state rate — is among the highest in the world, according to the Tax Foundation.
Yet that’s deeply misleading, because most companies don’t pay that rate. The Government Accountability Office found that two-thirds of active corporations paid no federal tax. Even large, profitable corporations paid an average federal rate of only 14 percent — and Boeing, Verizon, General Electric and Priceline paid no federal income tax over a five-year period, according to Citizens for Tax Justice.
There’ve been many studies showing that the U.S. effective marginal rate for corporations is in the same ballpark as in other industrialized countries (some say it’s a bit lower, others a bit higher).
So, sure, let’s lower the official corporate tax rate while reducing loopholes, but don’t pretend this will create a ton of new jobs.
Where the tax plan would have a big impact is in empowering some very wealthy people, because of another bit of chicanery in the proposal: Trump apparently would allow some business owners to dodge personal income tax by paying at the much lower corporate rate. In other words, tycoons would try to structure their incomes to pay not at a 39.6 percent top personal rate but at a 15 percent corporate rate.
This isn’t tax policy; it’s a heist.
Then there’s the elimination of the estate tax. The White House talks solemnly about protecting family farms and other businesses, but give us a break! The estate tax now affects only couples worth more than $11 million. About one-fifth of 1 percent of Americans are affected — but the estate tax does limit the rise of inequality and assures a hint of fairness, since much of the wealth in rich estates has never been taxed at all.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says Trump’s tax “plan” would be paid for partly “with growth” — which means that he has no idea how to pay for it. The Tax Policy Center examined Trump’s campaign tax plan and found it would cause the federal debt to rise by at least $7 trillion in the first decade, and more than $20 trillion by 2036 — slowing growth, not raising it. To put the latter number in perspective, that’s additional borrowing of about $160,000 per American household.
Effectively, we’d borrow from China or other countries to finance huge tax breaks for Trump and his minions. And this is populism?


These CEOs Wanted To ‘Fix The Debt’ Until Trump Proposed A Massive Corporate Tax Cut

Apparently, more debt isn’t so bad when it comes with a tax cut.

Fix the Debt exists for one reason: to argue for less U.S. government debt. It is an organization explicitly founded on the idea that lots of government debt is bad, there is already too much of it, and more is worse.
To help push the economically dubious idea that debt is going to cripple the U.S. government, Fix the Debt coats its core mission in the usual content-free D.C. catchphrases ― “bipartisan plan,” “common belief,” “long-term challenges,” “people all across America.” The group also enlists a platoon of former politicians to sit sternly on panels and say that the only way forward is tax reform along with cuts to Social Security and Medicare. There’s also a Fix the Debt CEO Fiscal Leadership Council, which is a 22-person steering committee made up of 22 men.
Surely now that there is a businessman in the White House and his two top economic advisers, both ex-Goldman Sachs executives, have rolled out a rudimentary tax plan that slashes taxes for corporations, heirs and heiresses, investors, and rich people ― while increasing the national debt by somewhere between $3 trillion and $7 trillion and making no serious attempt to offset the cost elsewhere ― these CEOs are issuing outraged statements, right?
Haha, of course not.
HuffPost asked every single member of Fix the Debt’s CEO council for a response to the president’s tax outline, and as of press time, not a single one of the executives denounced it.
Why won’t executives who want less government debt condemn a proposal that dramatically increases government debt?
Most of the executives on Fix the Debt’s CEO council either declined to comment or did not respond to HuffPost’s requests. But the executives who were willing to go on the record are pretty clear-cut about what is going on: It’s a corporate tax cut, so they think it’s good.
For instance, a Deere & Company spokesman said on behalf of CEO Samuel Allen that the company “supports efforts to improve the corporate tax code to make U.S. business and investment more competitive in today’s global marketplace.” That’s a not-even-well-disguised way of saying “it’s a tax cut, so it’s good.”
Trump’s plan is not real tax reform, and anyone who says it is is trying to sell you a tax cut. Like, for instance, the CEO of General Electric, Jeff Immelt. A GE spokesman referred HuffPost to a comment from the American Made Coalition, an industry group the company belongs to, that lauds the White House for its “commitment to move forward on comprehensive tax reform.”
Some of the responses were even more direct. The spokesman for Airlines for America, the main airline industry group that is headed by former Citigroup executive and Bush administration official Nicholas Calio, said, “Generally speaking, we support reducing the corporate tax rate and implementing additional reforms needed to simplify the tax system.”
So what’s the point of Fix the Debt’s CEO council if its members won’t criticize a tax plan that increases the national debt? They don’t seem to care enough about national debt to say anything critical when what’s at stake is a tax cut for themselves, their companies and their descendants. That, at least, is instructive silence.
For years, progressives’ critique of the fiscal hawk movement ― which Fix the Debt’s founders Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson as well as funder Pete Peterson sit at the center of ― has centered on the argument that all this worrying about the debt is a stalking horse to cut social programs and taxes for the rich.
While Fix the Debt put out a tepid statement about Trump’s tax plan, calling for responsible legislation, and a related group called the Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget was harsher, the refusal of Fix the Debt’s CEO council members to denounce Trump’s tax outline in any way is proving the group’s critics right.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated Trump’s tax plan would increase the national debt by $3 billion to $7 billion. The correct figure is $3 trillion to $7 trillion.

SECRET SERVICE is maxed out on Covering President Trump His tweeting is increasing threats which makes the SS job much harder.

t’s never easy for a new president to transition into his security bubble, but Donald Trump comes with unconventional protection challenges — including his active Twitter life — that are testing the Secret Service in unpleasant and costly ways.
Trump’s free-flowing tweets have invited more threats than his security detail can keep pace to investigate. On top of that, he’s been telegraphing his movements for the bad guys by establishing regular travel patterns in his first 100 days in office. And his very famous family is jetting around the world, draining the resources of a bureau still gasping from the frenzied pace of the 2016 campaign.
All presidents live in a target-rich environment — agents often talk of mentally-ill people approaching the White House gates making threats against long-gone leaders like Jimmy Carter or Ronald Reagan. But law enforcement experts say the new Republican president has particularly upped his exposure levels through Twitter, with the missives emanating from his phone giving the masses the impression they can correspond directly with Trump.
“The Twitter thing is creating a lot of hassles,” said Dan Bongino, a former protective detail agent for presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “It’s generated a tidal wave of threats that the Secret Service can’t ignore.”
Bongino, who has written a book on the Secret Service’s challenges in protecting Trump that’s scheduled for publication later this summer, said the Secret Service is ill-equipped to make its way through all the social media threats. It can’t tell Trump to stop tweeting. And it also is still haunted by the example of Sara Jane Moore, a woman who attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford in 1975 months after the Secret Service evaluated her but found she wasn’t a threat.
“It’s an arithmetic impossibility to interview every single person who sends a threat. It’s not possible,” he said. “By necessity they have to triage what’s credible and what’s not and it’s tough to do by just looking at a 140-character tweet.”

Another big challenge in protecting Trump — codenamed “Mogul” to commemorate his billionaire business background — starts with the way he’s been traveling around the country. While the president has managed to keep hotel costs down by spending all his nights since inauguration at either the White House or his South Florida seaside retreat, it’s the recurring weekend trips to his private Mar-a-Lago club that are giving current and former Secret Service agents some pause.
“I used to joke if we don’t know where we’re going then the jackal doesn’t either,” Bongino said. “Patterns always hurt.”
The Secret Service — battered by years of bad public relations tied to fence jumpers, prostitutes and the lowest morale of any government sub-agency — is also spread painfully thin as it acclimates to the Trump era.
A third of the New York field office’s 200-plus staffers are being pulled on any given day from their regular duties, including criminal investigations, to protect the Trump family members based in Manhattan, including Melania Trump and 11-year old Barron Trump in Trump Tower, and adult sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. Agents are also being flown in from other stations around the country to work on the Trump family detail.
While family members of past presidents have also enjoyed the same types of Secret Service protection when away from Washington — Chelsea Clinton at Stanford and Bush’s twins attending the University of Texas and Yale — law enforcement experts have struggled to come up with anything comparable to the combination of a first lady living full time away from the White House’s protective umbrella, plus two adult sons who have such high-profile positions leading a company that also carries the president’s trademark last name.
“Figuring out what a college kid is going to do, as opposed to a guy who has businesses in Saudi Arabia, logistically it’s much more complicated,” said former Secret Service agent Patrick O’Carroll, now the executive director of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association.

The costs for protecting Trump and his family outside Washington are taking a toll on the bureau.
Law enforcement sources say it’s only a matter of time before more permanent security protections will need to be added at some of the Trump properties beyond the White House that the president most frequently calls home. Those additions will carry a price tag — for installation and routine maintenance — and will likely be needed at Mar-a-Lago, Trump Tower and the president’s Bedminster, New Jersey, private golf club that’s expected to serve as a regular summer getaway spot.
“Otherwise it’s going to look like a tent city,” said Bill Pickle, a former deputy assistant director of the Secret Service.
The Washington Post reported in March that the service had asked the Trump White House to approve an extra $60 million into its roughly $2 billion initial budget, with nearly half that amount going toward protecting Trump Tower. A specific line-item mentioning Trump’s personal security needs ultimately didn’t appear in the request sent last month to Capitol Hill, leaving budget watchers to predict some of the money will surface either in the next iteration of a continuing resolution or perhaps later this summer should the Homeland Security Department need to spend more money than it is authorized to spend.
“Congress is going to have to come up with a big number that they’re not anticipating to cover all these costs,” said Chris Cummiskey, the former Obama-era acting undersecretary for management at the Department of Homeland Security.

The costs for protecting the Trump family during their international travel also remains a sore spot. CBS reported earlier this month that the Secret Service’s international travel costs connected to protecting Eric and Donald Trump Jr. — for just hotels and car rentals on trips to the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, United Kingdom, Ireland, Dubai and Canada — had surpassed $190,000 since the start of the year.
But this is tricky political terrain, too. Sen. Bernie Sanders has said he’ll probe the costs of protecting Trump’s adult children as they move around the world through his perch as ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee. But prominent Democrats have also spoken up that there shouldn’t be a debate about the Secret Service detail for Trump’s sons. “The President’s family’s protection should not be politicized,” Chelsea Clinton wrote earlier this month on Twitter.
Costs aside, Douglas Smith, who served as an Obama administration assistant secretary of homeland security, said the Secret Service agents on the Eric and Donald Trump Jr. details are hard-pressed to do their job with the resources they have. “International travel puts a tremendous strain on the Secret Service,” he said. “Agents traveling the world with the Trump boys, it’s a lot of stress. Their responsibility is exactly the same. But they get a whole lot less infrastructure to do what they need to do.”
The Secret Service also has other Trump-related issues to monitor. While the Trump Organization’s private security arm is responsible for protecting its properties around the globe – from its hotels and condominiums to golf courses – law enforcement sources say the Secret Service shouldn’t ignore those kinds of threats either. “I know I’d want to know about it,” said one former senior Secret Service agent.
Like all new administrations, Trump and his staff are still learning the ropes of what comes with being enveloped in security protection at all hours and with all their movements.
Law enforcement sources say Trump’s White House staff has developed a reputation in the Secret Service for herky-jerky scheduling that can add costs to the agency’s operations. For example, they’ve abruptly canceled at least three in-the-works presidential trips — two to Trump Tower and one last weekend to Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey golf club — that agents had started doing advance preparations work for.