Lease Dispute Bounces Secret Service Command Post From Trump Tower

Melania Trump, the president's wife, and their son, Barron, remained in the Trump Tower penthouse until the end of...

Between late 2015 - when Trump was a presidential candidate - until last month, the Secret Service maintained a presence in space one floor below Trump's private residence in the tower.

The Secret Service has been kicked to the curb - literally - by the very people it's supposed to be protecting.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Trump Organization said the Secret Service should find another location.

"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", spokesperson Amanda Miller said in a statement.

But, while Secret Service officials are still hoping for space in Trump Tower - putting agents much closer to the action on the rare occasions the president does visit his apartment - the Trump Organization made it clear they hadn't reached an agreement.

Last year, Trump was criticized for raising the price inside his building for a space he leased to his campaign, almost quintupling the rent when he stopped self-funding and began soliciting donations.

Before the dispute, the command center for the president's security detail was located in the room directly below his, one floor down. According to the Trump Organization, the command post migration was a mutual decision.

Now, with the post on the street below, security experts worry that radio transmissions could break up because of the distance and multiple walls between agents on the scene and commanders in the trailer.

The U.S. government is also leasing space in Trump Tower for a military office that provides support for the White House and handles the nuclear "football" - a mobile hub that the president would use to launch a nuclear strike.

GSA negotiated a separate, successful lease on behalf of the Defense Department in April to be used by the White House Military Office.

But its representatives are baulking at the cost and other unspecified rental terms, reports the Washington Post. The 3,475-square-foot space is privately owned, so Trump's company will not directly benefit from the government lease.

Judge me on four things, said Trump.

  • Rogelio Becker