Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s security detail, one of the most extensive in the Trump administration, will cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $20 million through the fall of 2019.
DeVos began to receive nonstop security from the U.S. Marshals Service immediately after her Senate confirmation in February 2017. No other Cabinet member has been provided an armed detail like the one assigned to the education secretary, at a cost of $19.8 million, according to figures provided by the Marshals Service to NBC News.
The security team was assigned by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was forced out of his Cabinet position the day after the midterm elections. The Marshals Service was ordered to protect DeVos after protesters heckled the Michigan billionaire and physically blocked her from entering a public middle school in Washington, D.C.
The Department of Justice said in a statement that DeVos’s security detail had been assembled after “threats” were made against the education secretary. “The U.S. Marshals Service was identified to assist in this area based on its expertise and long experience providing executive protection,” the department said.
DeVos’s security squad cost about $5.3 million in 2017, $6.8 million in 2018 and is projected to cost $7.74 million in 2019. The cost is eventually reimbursed by the Education Department. The average amount of money spent per day on the Marshals Service is about $34,000.