WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Hackers are trying to breach the city of West Palm Beach's computers, and they could be motivated by President Donald Trump's ties to the area, Mayor Jeri Muoio said Monday.
The FBI is investigating, and more than $150,000 has been spent trying to find out what is happening, she said.
"We have had unknown entities attempting to breach our system, which has been very concerning," Muoio said.
She said she fears that Trump's regular presence at his oceanfront estate Mar-a-Lago — less than a mile from West Palm Beach — could put her city at a greater risk for cyberattacks and terrorism.
"Because we are in the spotlight, it brings more attention to us," she said.
City officials want to dedicate $400,000 annually to improve cybersecurity. In addition, the city is considering budgeting $4.3 million annually to monitor security threats and, if necessary, respond to a critical incident.
In particular, the city wants to strengthen protection of its waterfront and water supply, Muoio said.
Muoio and U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla., are pushing for the federal government to reimburse local governments for money spent to protect the president. Trump has made five weekend visits to Mar-a-Lago since Jan. 20.
Palm Beach County estimates it has spent $1.7 million in added overtime expenses and other costs assisting the Secret Service, a figure county officials project could reach as high as nearly $6 million by year-end.
The county estimates it could spend $280,000 when Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago next week, Frankel said.
The visits also affect businesses based at the Lantana Airport, which cannot operate because of flight restrictions imposed when Trump visits.
The county projects that those businesses have lost $720,000 in revenue.