President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump

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Over 100,000 sign petition demanding Melania Trump cover her NYC security costs

The first lady has refused to move to the White House until the end of the year.

 

Andrew Couts

Tech

Over 100,000 people have signed a petition demanding First Lady Melania Trump move to the White House or cover the costs of providing security for her and son Barron at their home in New York City’s Trump Tower.

The Change.org petition, which as of this writing has over 111,000 signatures, argues that U.S. taxpayers are “paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower.” It further claims that forcing the billionaire Trump family to cover the costs of Melania and Barron’s security detail would “help relieve the national debt” and that “this expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded.”

Much has been said about the first lady’s decision to remain in New York rather than move to the White House to be with her president husband, but the actual cost of protecting the first family in NYC remains elusive.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office told PolitiFact that the city paid $37 million on Trump family security detail for the 74-day period between Election Day on Nov. 8, 2016, and Inauguration Day on Jan. 20. (As of early February, Congress had reimbursed NYC about $7 million.) That equals out to roughly $500,000 per day. However, the mayor’s office also said that the cost is significantly higher when President Donald Trump is in New York, which makes it more difficult to assess the real cost of Melania and Barron’s presence in the city.

In addition to the ambiguity around how much Melania’s decision to remain in New York costs taxpayers—particularly non-New York residents—the issue itself may be resolved before any grassroots efforts can have an effect. According to the White House, Melania will move to Washington at the end of the school year.

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