Taxpayers are picking up a $25,338 tab for a pair of personal watercraft and a trailer to haul them. The jet skis are intended for Secret Service members to protect the Trump family while swimming.
An initial solicitation by the Secret Service for two new jet skis and a trailer was issued last year, and was first spotted by reporter Scott McFarlane. It noted, “President Trump and his family spend several weeks throughout the year in Mara Largo [sic] FL and Hamptons NY,” it said. “The First Family is very active in water sports.”
“Several family members along with their guest [sic] participate in open water activities for which USSS Special Agent Rescue Swimmers are responsible,” the solicitation explained. “[Special agents] have rented watercraft with their own personal funds to allow them to be near our protectees in various water environments to fulfill the USSS Rescue Swimmer mission.”
The water toys were purchased from a Kawasaki dealer in Augusta, Georgia, with funds from the budget of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Procurement Operations.
The agency said the jet skis would also be used to train Secret Service rescue swimmers in Beltsville, Maryland. Those swimmers will be protecting the not only the Trump family, but former presidents’ families, as well as other members of the Trump administration while they remain in office.
Over the last two years, the Trump family has taken 3,249 trips that require Secret Service protection, a number that is 12 times what President Obama’s family required in seven years.
Melania Trump once boasted of being mindful and respectful of spending taxpayer dollars on travel costs, but one Be Best day trip to Toronto in 2017 racked up $174,000 in hotel costs with protective detail. In 2018, a 6-hour trip to Cairo without overnight lodging cost $95,000.
See at the Daily Beast.