According to US Congressman Jason Chaffetz, the agents are ‘flat worn out.’
A senator from the US leader’s Republican Party has claimed that protecting Donald Trump’s family is putting a major strain on Secret Service agents,
Worn out agents:
Jason Chaffetz told The New York Times that they are “flat worn out,” and adding that more staff were needed to keep up with the demands.
Staff levels in the agency have dropped to approximately 250 agents and 350 administrative and technical staff, but it must protect around 40% more people than in previous non-campaign years.
Melania, the president’s wife, and son Barron, are living in New York’s Trump Tower. The agents are also required to protect his four adult children and their families.
Trump has also requested protection detail for aides like Reince Priebus and Kellyanne Conway.
Meaning that dozens of agents have been temporarily removed from criminal investigations in order to serve two-week spells protecting members of the first family.
Former Secret Service agent and author of “The Fight: A Secret Service Agent’s Inside Account of Security Failings and the Political Machine,”
Dan Bongino, said that as a result of all these reasons, the agency is “on the verge of catastrophic collapse based on attrition rates”. He spoke to former colleagues who told him that resignations occur “almost daily”.
He continued on saying that if law enforcement agencies did not conduct parallel duplicate investigations, there would be less strain on resources, which would free the Secret Service to focus on unique cases as well as protection duties.
According to Bongino, more money is not the only answer, the current budget is $1.9bn, which was far less under George W Bush’s administration, but rather the agency’s duties should be reorganized.
He believes that the majority of the criminal mission needs to go.
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is discussing the matter but Bongino said he was “not optimistic” they will make the necessary reforms.
Spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan said that “the Secret Service remains an expeditionary law enforcement agency that continues to adapt and evolve based on the mission at hand.” She maintained that the agency would be able to do more with less.