USA Today went big: “Exclusive: Secret Service depletes funds to pay agents because of Trump’s frequent travel, large family.”
“The Secret Service can no longer pay hundreds of agents it needs to carry out an expanded protective mission – in large part due to the sheer size of President Trump’s family and efforts necessary to secure their multiple residences up and down the East Coast,” said the explosive lead.
The “scoop” came from Secret Service Director Randolph “Tex” Alles, who in an interview with USA TODAY said “more than 1,000 agents have already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year.”
“The president has a large family, and our responsibility is required in law,” Alles said. “I can’t change that. I have no flexibility.” Under former President Obama, 31 people were protected by the Secret Service. Under Trump, the number rose to 42, including 18 family members.
CNN got all wee-weed up with the “exclusive”: “Secret Service can’t pay agents for Trump and his family, report says.” Lots of other mainstream media outlets followed the salacious story — Trump and his family are bankrupting America!
But it turns out the whole story was plain old fake news.