An online petition is calling for first lady Melania Trump to move to the White House or pay for her own security at New York City's Trump Tower.
The Change.org petition, addressed to the U.S. Senate, has collected tens of thousands of signatures since it was started a week ago.
"The U.S. taxpayer is paying an exorbitant amount of money to protect the First Lady in Trump Tower, located in New York City," the petition reads. "As to help relieve the national debt, this expense yields no positive results for the nation and should be cut from being funded."
The petition crystalizes some of the complaints that surfaced when the Trump family initially announced that first lady Melania Trump would not join her husband at the White House until when he was inaugurated into office in January. The first lady instead opted to stay at Trump Tower in New York to raise the president's youngest son Barron, who turned 11 last week, as he finishes the school year at the prestigious Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School in Manhattan.
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"If she chooses to live apart from her husband, the American Tax Payers should NOT pick-up the tab!" one signer of the petition said in a comment "They can afford to pay for the extravagance of living apart. The Tax Payers have provided a perfectly acceptable home which has met the needs of every other previous president."
Police Commissioner James O'Neill told lawmakers last month that securing Trump Tower cost his department $127,000 to $146,000 each day, with this daily rate reaching $308,000 when the president is actually in the city. The cost came in under initial expectations.
Protection for all members of the president's immediate family has been standard in modern history, but the size of Trump's family -- with four adult children in addition to minor Barron -- has increased security costs.
Melania Trump and 11-year-old son Barron are expected to move to D.C. in June, according to recent reports.
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