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In fear after Soleimani assassination, US spent $12mn to protect two Trump aides

Former President Donald Trump of the United States, foreground, and his National Security Advisor John Bolton (file photo)

The US Secret Service reportedly paid over $12 million to protect two security advisors of former President Donald Trump for fear of “possible threats” against their lives from Iran in revenge for the assassination of top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani.

John Bolton and Robert O’Brien were receiving protection for almost one year after they left their posts, the CBS television network reported Tuesday.

The total cost of protection for both individuals was $12,280,324, according to a series of reports by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) obtained by CBS. 

The DHS reports do not mention Iran by name, but the CBS report says “Bolton and O’Brien were receiving protection due to possible threats” from Iran.

According to the DHS documents, the protection involves “dedicated special agents, 24 hours a day, covering their homes and offices, as well as domestic and foreign travel.”

Officials like Bolton and O’Brien do not typically receive this level of protection once they leave office, CBS reported.

Bolton received no protection initially after he left the White House. 

According to the documents, he started getting protection in December 2021, after Trump — upon his departure from office — directed the Secret Service to provide protection for O’Brien.

For the period ending September 30, 2021, that cost $1,928,922. The current President Joe Biden later directed the Secret Service to extend both men’s protection, according to the DHS reports.

The reports cover only one-year span ending in 2022. Some officials continued to receive protection and do so to this day.

The Associated Press revealed a congressional memo in March 2022 that the State Department had been spending $2 million a month to provide round-the-clock security to Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Brian Hook, the former US envoy for Iran.

When leaving office, Trump also directed the US Secret Service to provide protection to chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for six months, ending July 20, 2021, costing a total of $6,194,121 for those two men and O’Brien.

Trump was president of the United States when he ordered the airstrike that assassinated General Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), on January 3, 2020.

When the US Ain Al-Asad base in Iraq was pounded by Iranian missiles in the wake of the assassination, Washington was certain that Iran’s revenge is serious.

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