Pentagon Looks To Rent Space At Trump Tower

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NEW YORK (CBSMiami/AP) —  The U.S. military may want to rent space at Trump Tower to use when the president returns to his New York City home.

A Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday that the Department of Defense was looking for the space “in order to meet official mission requirements.” Two U.S. officials said that the space will likely be rented from a third-party, and not from President Donald Trump or members of his family. The officials said it was not clear yet if the contract had been finalized.

The officials were not authorized to discuss the contract publicly, so spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The Department of Defense is working through appropriate channels and in accordance with all applicable legal requirements in order to acquire a limited amount of leased space in Trump Tower,” said Army Lt. Col. J.B. Brindle. “The space is necessary for the personnel and equipment who will support the POTUS at his residence in the building.”

It was not clear how much it would cost the Pentagon to rent space in the 58-story Midtown Manhattan tower, which is owned by the Trump Organization. Entire floors, which run between 13,000 – 15,000 square feet, cost about $1.5 million a year, according to the building’s website.

Trump has lived in the three-story penthouse for three decades. He has not yet returned to New York since taking office, though his wife Melania and their young son Barron have continued to reside there.

His business is also based in the skyscraper.

It is customary for the military to obtain space near a president’s residence.

A number of military officers, including medical and transportation personnel and those assigned to keep the “nuclear football,” a briefcase that allows the president to authorize a nuclear attack, must all stay near the commander in chief. The military also rented space near former President Barack Obama’s home in Chicago.

The Secret Service also must have space nearby — and, when needed, have rented from the person they are assigned to protect. The agency rented space on former Vice President Joe Biden’s home in Delaware, though that cost far less than what would be expected for space in Trump Tower. The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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