After lease dispute, Secret Service vacates Trump Tower for trailer outside
Photo of Trump Tower via Krystal T’s Flickr
The Secret Service has left its central command post inside Trump Tower after an argument between the agency and the Trump Organization over the lease agreement for the space. While the Secret Service previously placed its supervisors and backup agents one floor below the president’s apartment, the Washington Post reported that in early July, the agents were relegated to a trailer on the sidewalk. Although President Trump has not been to his eponymous tower since he was inaugurated in January, the Secret Service still treats Trump Tower as the president’s permanent residence.
Details of the lease dispute remain unclear. A spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said the government should find another command post. “After much consideration, it was mutually determined that it would be more effective and logistically practical for Secret Service to lease space elsewhere,” Amanda Miller told the Post in an email.
However, it does not appear to be mutual as Secret Service officials are still seeking space in Trump Tower. A spokeswoman for the Secret Service said they are working “to obtain permanent work space in an appropriate location.” The General Services Administration, which oversees government leasing, said they are still searching for a command headquarters.
The Secret Service command post, usually located on the same floor of the room below the president’s bedroom, includes a larger team of agents, both for when Trump is at his private home and when he travels. Some security experts worry that creating a command post outside and removed from the president’s home, could create problems with radio transmissions. The agency says the lease dispute has not impacted the Secret Service’s security plan.
Previously, the government paid more than $130,000 per month to lease the Trump Tower space. According to lease documents obtained by the Wall Street Journal, the government signed a $2.39 million, 149 page-lease to rent a 3,475 square foot space in the tower. The government rents the pad from a private owner, who is not affiliated with the Trump Organization, preventing the president from benefiting from the steep rent. An 18-month lease went into effect in April.
As 6sqft previously covered, Congress agreed to a budget deal that would pay back New York City and the NYPD for funds spent protecting Trump Tower. The $68 million “protection package” will be split with Florida, where Trump’s Mar-a-Lago mansion is located.
[Via The Washington Post]