Melania Trump must leave NYC or pay security costs, petition says

An online petition calling for first lady Melania Trump to move to the White House or pay for the security required for her to live in Manhattan is quickly gaining signatures.

Created on March 18, the petition surpassed 100,000 signatures on March 28.

“The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower,” the change.org page says. “This expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded.”

The first lady and her son, Barron, have stayed in the building on Fifth Avenue since Donald Trump became president. According to reports, they will move to Washington, D.C. after Barron finishes the school year, but a specific date was not given.

According to the NYPD, it costs an average of $127,000 to $146,000 per day to protect Melania and Barron. Additionally, the FDNY said it will cost a total of $4.5 million each year to station firefighters and medics 24 hours a day at Trump Tower.

The petition’s goal was 150,000 signatures, but it was later increased to 200,000. The petition will be delivered to Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, the page says.

A bipartisan group of New York House members have urged the federal government to reimburse the city for the $25.7 million it spent protecting Trump Tower during the presidential transition, but that would not include the costs since inauguration. Congress authorized only $7 million in reimbursements in December.

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