President Donald Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, was asked about the ongoing costs of travel to Palm Beach County Monday. And, no, Spicer didn’t run the reporter over with the briefing room podium, Melissa McCarthy style.
The Palm Beach Post has reported that the county has incurred yuuuge costs providing additional security and roadway management during Trump’s trips to his Mar-a-Lago spread. The county is conducting a review to get a better handle on the costs and benefits of Trump’s frequent travel here.
Spicer was asked about the county’s costs during a briefing Monday afternoon.
The reporter, Gabby Morrongiello of The Washington Examiner, said: “Palm Beach County has said that it’s costing $60,000 a day in overtime pay every time the President comes to visit West Palm Beach. He’s slated to go there again this weekend according to some reports. Is the President taking any steps to ensure that taxpayers aren’t saddled with tremendous costs in his travel habits, considering he was so critical of his predecessor on that matter?”
Spicer responded: “Well, Gabby, the security for the President and the First Family is set by the Secret Service. As you know, they determine the security measures that need to be taken to protect the President — frankly, any President. So I’m going to leave it up to the Secret Service to decide what security measures and steps are taken to protect the President.”
Spicer continued: “And, as you know, I mean, this…depending on…it transcends administrations. Wherever the President goes, they need to make sure that the President and the First Family is safe. That’s something that I think — we rely on the Secret Service to make those determinations. They continue to do a phenomenal job making sure that the First Family and the President and the Vice President are protected, and we have full confidence in the decisions that they make.”
That wasn’t the answer folks here wanted to hear, which would be something along the lines of: “Why, yes, Gabby, we plan to urge congressional leaders to set aside funding to reimburse Palm Beach County in full for additional costs incurred during the president’s trips there.”
Still, Morrongiello did the county a solid in asking that question. And she didn’t get smacked with a podium or blasted with soapy water.