Secret Service spent $137K on golf carts to protect Trump at New Jersey, Florida clubs

WASHINGTON – The Secret Service has spent at least $137,505 to rent golf carts to protect President Trump this year at his private clubs in New Jersey and Florida.

According to federal purchase orders flagged by the progressive PAC American Bridge and reviewed by USA TODAY, the agency paid $61,960 in a Sept. 29 contract to rent golf carts at the Trump International Golf Club in Florida.

That's the biggest purchase order for golf carts so far. It comes in a contract that will extend through May 28, 2018. The agency signed contracts for golf carts at Trump's clubs as early as February, but they never exceeded about $18,000 – and only lasted for one month at a time.

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In August, USA TODAY first reported that the Secret Service can no longer pay the overtime for hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of Trump's family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast. Secret Service Director Randolph "Tex" Alles said more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year.

While Congress has been working on a fix to raise the caps for the agents, critics have said Trump could ease the financial burden on the agency by reducing his travel and staying at the White House more often.

"There's a question about how fast Trump is racking up bills that the taxpayers have to pay, which are largely trips to his hotels and his golf courses," said Harrell Kirstein, American Bridge communications director.

Under the law, Trump cannot provide or pay for any equipment or services the Secret Service needs to protect him. The rule is intended to stave off any potential conflicts of interests for the agency.

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The Secret Service has signed several more golf-related contracts. On Oct. 1, the agency paid $15,600 to install and remove ballistic glass for Trump to watch the Presidents Cup golf competition in Jersey City, N.J.

"President Trump isn't working and taxpayers are being forced to pick up the tab," Kirstein said. "Instead of wasting so much time and money on his vacation, he should do his job and address with the multitude of crises facing the country that are piling up on his watch."

The service's luxury portable restroom spending for the clubs has also increased since August.

A recent switch in restroom providers also appears to have cost the agency extra. The agency signed a contract with Sanitary Solutions Inc. for $5,365 on Sept. 21. The previous contract with Imperial Restrooms was $3,300 from Aug. 21.

The total the agency has spent on portable bathrooms, a mobile office and ballistic glass at Trump’s New Jersey golf course rings in at $53,316.

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