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Tag: trump tower

Secret Service Vacates Trump Tower, Moves to the Sidewalk

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has abandoned its command post inside Trump Tower  and relocated to a trailer on a sidewalk outside the New York skyscraper because of a dispute over the terms of the lease.

The relocation, first reported by The Washington Post, follows failed negotiations between the GSA and the Trump organization over the price and other conditions of the lease. 

The sidewalk command post likely won’t change anytime soon.

“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,” Trump Organization spokeswoman Amanda Miller wrote in an email to The Washington Post.

Still, the Secret Service hopes to regain space in Trump Tower.

The agency is working “to obtain permanent work space in an appropriate location,” said Catherine Milhoan, a Secret Service spokeswoman.

Milhoan added, “Throughout this process, there has been no impact to the security plan developed by the Secret Service.”

Other Stories of Interest

Fact-Checking Trump Jr.’s Shifting Statements on Meeting with Russian Lawyer

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CNN’s Jake Tapper and FactCheck.org released a fact-checking video in which they examined Donald Trump Jr.’s changing statements about a June 2o16 meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.

President Trump’s eldest son originally said the meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya was a “short introductory meeting” where “we primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government.” 

But the New York Times reported that Trump Jr. met with the attorney after being “promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton.”

A day later, Trump Jr. acknowledged that the lawyer said she had “information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.”

But, he said, she provided no “supporting information” and that “her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense.”

Other Stories of Interest

Top Democrat Requests Secret Service Records on Trump Jr. Meeting

Rep. Elijah Cummings

Rep. Elijah Cummings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, is requesting documents that would reveal the vetting of who arrived and exited the Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.

Cummings’ request is intended to clear up “recent conflicting reports” on the Secret Service’s role in vetting the Russian-connected officials who met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul Manafort at the Trump Tower in June 2016, Business Insider reports. 

On Sunday, President Trump’s lawyer suggested the Secret Service would not have permitted Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and former Soviet military intelligence officer Rinat Akhmetshin into the Trump Tower if anything nefarious was happening. The Secret Service responded that Trump Jr. was not under the agency’s protection at the time and therefore “would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at the time.”

Ex-Soviet Intel Officer Also Met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Russian attorney who pledged to share dirt on Hillary Clinton during a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. last year was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist who previously worked in Soviet counterintelligence, according to NBC News.

The Russian-born lobbyist, who was unnamed, served in the military before emigrating to the U.S., where he has dual citizenship. Some U.S. officials believe he still has ties to Russian spy agencies.

The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, previously acknowledged she attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with at least one other man, whom she declined to identify. But Veselnitskaya denied she was working on Moscow’s behalf and told NBC that she met with Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort to discuss sanctions.

Emails released by Trump Jr. suggest Veselnitskaya wanted to share damaging information about Clinton as part of a Russian plot to interfere with the presidential election.

After releasing the emails, Trump Jr. conceded he “probably would have done things a little differently.”

President Trump defended his son, saying “most people would have taken that meeting.”

“My son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer but a Russian lawyer,” Trump said Thursday in a joint press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron. “From a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research or research into your opponent.”

Secret Service Stops Bulletproof-Clad Man with Knives Trying to Confront Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump, via Twitter

Ivanka Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Bronx man wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying two throwing knives tried getting into Trump Tower in New York to see President Trump’s daughter Ivamkqa Trump on Thursday.

But Adames Benitez, 52, was quickly stopped by Secret Service after agents spotted the bulletproof vest around 4 p.m., the New York Daily News reports. 

The suspect told Secret Service agents he was a U.S. senator who owned the building and wanted to speak to Ivanka about her dress line.

A search uncovered two throwing knives, weighted socks and a fake New York State I.D. card.

Prosecutors charged the man with weapons possession and having a fake ID and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether the man was an imminent threat to Ivanka.

Secret Service Faces Serious Challenges to Meet Demands of Trump Family

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has been forced to make cost-cutting concessions because of the increasing demands and rising costs of protecting the new first family.

The strain of the demands has resulted in the Secret Service pulling dozens of agents from criminal investigations to serve two-week stints to protect members of the Trump family, the New York Times reports. 

One of the extra burdens is protecting the first lady and youngest son in Manhattan’s Trump Tower. The family’s travel habits also have required agents to work more overtime hours and spend more time away from home. In addition, the Secret Service is protecting Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

“They are flat-out worn out,” said Representative Jason Chaffetz, Republican of Utah, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“It’s like being on a bike that you never get off of,” said the committee’s top-ranking Democratic member, Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland.

FBI Wiretapped Trump Tower over Russian Crime Organization Working out of Building

Trump Tower

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI acknowledged it wiretapped Trump Tower, but it was not because of the president or his political campaign.

The FBI had court approval to monitor a Russian crime organization operating on the tower’s 63rd floor.

Prosecutors described the mafia members as an “international money-laundering, sports gambling and extortion ring,” ABC News reported.

One 0f the ring’s leaders, Vadim Trincher, is accused of laundering ten of millions of dollars from the Soviet Union through Cyprus and into the U.S.

As a result of the FBI investigation, a grand jury indicted more than 30 people in April 2013.

What’s unclear is whether Trump met any of the mafia members.

Trump’s Gaudy Lifestyle Is Draining Resources of Secret Service

secret serviceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump has refused to give up many of his creature comforts, and that has exhausted the budget of the Secret Service.

Now the agency is asking for an additional $60 million in funding for next year to keep up with Trump’s gaudy lifestyle, Vanity Fair reports.

The problem is that Trump visits his Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, every weekend. Secret Service also has to protect the Trump Tower because First Lady Melania Trump has so far refused to move into the White House. Now Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, is using an office in the West Wing and is expected to soon receive security clearance.

Secret Service projects it will need $26.8 million in additional funds to protect the First Family and the Trump Tower.

Vanity Fair wrote:

President Trump is 70 years old—the oldest president to be sworn in for a first term. He has five children, two of whom have eight children between them. Eric Trump announced earlier this week that he and his wife, Lara, are having a baby boy in September, bringing the total count of Trumps to 19. The Secret Service asked for six additional full-time-equivalent positions for the Trump detail, the Post reports.

The remainder of the proposed budget additional funding—$33 million—would go toward travel costs. It is no secret that the president is fond of taking trips to Mar-a-Lago. The Trump children have also jetted to Dubai, Vancouver, and Aspen since he took office, for both business and pleasure. All of these trips require advance and detail, and thus, come out of the agency budget.

They also require a great deal of money from local police protection. Between Election Day and Inauguration Day, the Post reports that New York police spent about $24 million to secure Trump Tower, and on any given day, the city spends between $127,000 and $145,000 to protect the First Lady and First Son in Manhattan while President Trump is in Washington—which has been most weekdays and a handful of weekends, as well.

Palm Beach County, too, has had to foot the bill when the president comes to town. The sheriff’s office has said it has spent $1.5 million so far in overtime pay for on-duty officers securing the private club and taking care of traffic in the surrounding area. The cost is so overwhelming that officials are considering raising taxes or possibly charging Mar-a-Lago a fee in order to cover the costs without impacting residents.

Other Stories of Interest