How Donald Trump can make money off Secret Service

Updated: Nov 19, 2016, 10:51 IST | Agencies

When it comes to political campaigns, the US Secret Service pays for agent travel, be it on aircraft, trains, boats or automobile

Washington: When it comes to political campaigns, the US Secret Service pays for agent travel, be it on aircraft, trains, boats or automobile. The campaigns of both Trump and Hillary Clinton have been paid $5.45 million for flying agents around, according to the last tally available from the Federal Election Commission. Of that, $2.74 million was attributable to protecting Trump.

Unlike Clinton, Trump didn't need to charter an airplane since he flew on his own jets. As a result, while the Secret Service chipped in for its share of what the Clinton campaign paid, when it came to Trump, the federal agency effectively just paid him.

For travel on Trump's black-and-red Boeing 757 and Cessna Citation jet, the candidate's aviation company TAG Air Inc. has raked in almost $6 million. These payments, accord with FEC rules specifying that those travelling with a campaign, including the news media, must pay for their travel, Secret Service spokesman Joe Casey said.

Trump's aircraft fleet is just a microcosm of the numerous potential conflicts his transition team must navigate. For any of the Trump or Vice President-elect Mike Pence clans assigned a protective detail, Secret Service travel on a Trump-owned plane means the agency would need to reimburse the aircraft's owner. In this case, the president.

''So then, you have government money going to the president,'' said Brett Kappel, a lawyer who specialises in political finance and ethics at Akerman LLP. The Trump team remained unavailable for comment.

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