A dispute over rent has forced the Secret Service out of Trump Tower in New York City and onto the street.
The federal law-enforcement agency vacated its command post inside the Manhattan skyscraper that houses the president’s primary personal residence following a dispute between the government and the Trump Organization over the terms of a rental agreement, the Washington Post reported.
The Secret Service -- which is tasked with protecting the president, his family and their home -- had previously stationed its command post in a unit one floor below the Trump family’s apartment. But since late last month, the post was moved to a trailer 50 floors below, on Fifth Avenue.
On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said the government should look for another location for its command hub.
“After much consideration, it was mutually determined that it would be more cost effective and logistically practical for the Secret Service to lease space elsewhere,” spokeswoman Amanda Miller wrote in an email to the Washington Post.
“After much consideration, it was mutually determined that it would be more cost effective and logistically practical for the Secret Service to lease space elsewhere.”
Secret Service officials told the newspaper they were still hoping to rent space in Trump Tower, saying that they were working, “to obtain permanent work space in an appropriate location.”
Secret Service spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan added, “Throughout this process, there has been no impact to the security plan developed by the Secret Service.”
Trump has not visited Trump Tower since his inauguration and his wife, first lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron, relocated to Washington in early June. (Trump did, however, return to Manhattan on May 4 for an event aboard the USS Intrepid, as Fox News reported.)
Still, the Secret Service treats Trump Tower as the president’s permanent home, which requires a full-time detail.
The Secret Service will have a presence inside the building if Trump or his family members visit, as their personal security details would remain in close proximity.
In July, Fox News first reported on the Pentagon forking over $130,000 per month to rent an apartment within Trump Tower for its White House Military Unit.
The military agreed to pay $180,000 for the last 20 days of April and the new rent every month thereafter, according to the contract, which was released by the General Services Administration (GSA). The leasing rate for the space is far above the going rate for a similar space in Manhattan, making it among the most expensive rentals in the Big Apple.
The rental amount only covered the cost for the Department of Defense. Other agencies, such as the Secret Service, which requested an additional $25.7 million for its 2018 budget to cover expenses toward securing Trump Tower and the president’s “protective footprint” in New York City.