The Secret Service needs turbo-charged golf carts to protect Trump at Mar-a-Lago

Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump on his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump on his golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Image: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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The Secret Service needs to rent as many as 84 golf carts for US president Donald Trump’s upcoming stays at four of his Florida properties, according to federal acquisitions data.

Several Secret Service agents follow Trump in the carts every time he plays golfapproximately 149 times, or more than 20% of the days since he took office in January, 2017.

According to government requisition requests, Trump’s security detail requires 48 golf carts “for use on a month to month basis between November 9, 2018 and May 31, 2019,” and 36 golf carts on an “as needed, periodic basis” during the same time period.

Standard golf carts have a top speed of about 14 mph. All of the golf carts required by the Secret Service must be able to reach a “ground speed” of up to 19 mph.

At Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, the Secret Service is asking for a total of 12 golf carts. Six four-passenger electric carts must have “hard canopies, chargers, headlights and the back seat flips over and creates a flat bed.” The other six will be two-passenger carts with the same features, minus the back seat.

Secret Service agents manning the nearby Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach will require 36 carts—two four-passenger electrics and 34 two-passengers. The horns must be deactivated. Preferred color: white or neutral.

At the Trump National Jupiter Golf Club, located in Jupiter, Florida, the Secret Service will also need 36 electric carts, also white or neutral in color and without working horns. The same requirements are set out by the agency for Trump National Doral, in Miami.

The cost per cart, which is not listed in the documents, “shall include maintenance, delivery and pick-up.”

The Secret Service declined to comment on what the agency expects to pay for the golf cart rental and whether or not any of Trump’s clubs are in the running for the contract.

“For operational security reasons, the Secret Service cannot discuss specifically nor in general terms the means, methods, resources, costs, or numbers we utilize to carry out our protective responsibilities,” Secret Service spokesperson Julia McMurray told Quartz.

In September, TMZ reported that golf cart rentals at Trump’s US clubs have cost taxpayers $300,675, and his total golf expenses—including the cost of his Secret Service detail—currently stand at an estimated $77 million.