Secret Service protection extended to Trump family members, ex-staffers
By LUKE BARR, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — Former President Trump’s four adult children and their two spouses are receiving Secret Service protection for an additional six months following Trump’s departure from office, former administration officials confirmed to ABC News.
Additionally, ABC News has learned that Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, and former Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin are also receiving Secret Service protection beyond Trump’s term.
It was unclear if the orders to extend the protection arrangements had come from Trump himself. As a matter of practice, the U.S. Secret Service does not discuss protective operations or protectees, a Secret Service spokesperson told ABC News.
It’s not unusual for first children to receive an extension on their protection as a courtesy extended to the outgoing president and his family, but traditionally such protection has been limited to underage children and college students, as opposed to independent adults.
It’s also rare for former administration officials to receive protection beyond the president’s term in office.
By law, the former president and first lady receive lifetime protection, and youngest son Barron Trump will receive protection until he’s 16 years old. Former Vice President Mike Pence by law receives six months of protection after he leaves office.
Retired Secret Service agent Don Mihalek said that the decision of whether to extend protection is often “threat based,” but that every additional protectee the Secret Service takes on requires additional manpower from the agency.
“Typically as time goes on and the limelight fades on individuals, these threats of course diminish because the focus becomes on that who’s currently in the spotlight,” said Mihalek, an ABC News contributor.
“And at any point in time, any of these individuals can decline protection,” he said.
Also this week, the Secret Service lifted the temporary flight restriction over Trump Tower in New York City, which was put into place the day before Trump took office. The building was considered a possible target, and Trump’s wife and son Barron still resided there at the time.
The temporary flight restriction kept most general aviation under 3,000 feet from entering a one-mile radius surrounding the Midtown Manhattan building without prior permission. It initially extended all the way west into the Hudson River, but was later reduced so as not to affect aviation using that popular corridor, like tour helicopters.
The agency notified pilots of the most recent change on Thursday morning.
With Trump no longer using Trump Tower as his official residence, and much of his immediate family expected to reside in Florida, law enforcement says security around the building will be gradually scaled back.
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