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Tag: Secret Service

Secret Service Ramps Up Protection for Joe Biden Ahead of Potential Victory

By Steve Neavling

As Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden gets closer to the 270 electoral college votes needed to clinch the election, the Secret Service is sending more protection to Wilmington, Del.

The Secret Service deployed additional agents for added protection around the Wilmington convention center, which the former Vice President plans to continue using for at least another day, The Washington Post reports, adding that Biden is preparing for a potentially major speech Friday. 

Biden has already been receiving security from dozens of Secret Service agents. 

Despite the influx of new agents, Biden still doesn’t have the full protective detail he’d receive as president-elect. In the past, protection is ramped up after a candidate gives a victory speech, and the opponent concedes defeat. 

As of Friday morning, Biden held razor-thin leads in Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona. President Trump’s lead is narrowing in Pennsylvania, where thousands of votes have yet to be counted in Democratic strongholds. 

But it doesn’t appear Trump plans to concede the election anytime soon, claiming widespread fraud without any evidence Thursday. Even Republicans have acknowledged there’s no evidence of widespread fraud. 

Under agency protocol, Biden would be treated as president-elect after he electoral college gathers in mid-December to certify the election results. 

Secret Service Agents Often Don’t Wear Masks While Accompanying Trump to Events

By Steve Neavling

Secret Service agents are tasked with protecting the president, but they often don’t wear masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus at campaign events, according to an ABC News review of videos and photographs.

Secret Service agents are required to wear masks, and the CDC recommends the use of face coverings as a primary defense against COVID-19. 

Agents who accompany Trump to rallies and events – both indoor and outdoor– frequently don’t wear masks. Then again, neither does Trump, who was diagnosed with the coronavirus earlier this month.

Trump event mocked Democratic presidential candidate Vice President for relying on masks. 

“I don’t wear masks like him. Every time you see him he’s got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with biggest mask I’ve ever seen,” Trump said.

At events and rallies for Biden, by contrast, Secret Service agents are seen wearing masks.

The Secret Service declined to explain why agents protecting the president often don’t wear masks, but said in a statement, “The Secret Service continues to follow CDC guidelines regarding the use of PPE. While we continually assess the environment in which we conduct our protective operations, we will not discuss the manner in which we conduct them.”

The Secret Service has been tight-lipped about whether agents have been infected in connection with the diagnosis of Trump and others in his inner circle. 

Ex-Secret Service Supervisor Blasts Trump for Putting Agents ‘Needlessly’ at Risk of COVID-19

By Steve Neavling

A former Secret Service supervisor assailed President Trump for putting the agents hired to protect him at an elevated risk of contacting the coronavirus. 

In a Washington Post Op-Ed, Joseph Petro, a 23-year special agent and senior executive with the Secret Service, said Trump’s jaunt in an SUV around Walter Reed National Military Medical Center over weekend was “a gratuitous and dangerous political exercise that needlessly exposed his Secret Service agents” and their families.

“It was an avoidable risk, and someone should have objected,” he wrote. 

Petro said that protecting agents was “aways our highest priority.”

But not under Trump, who Petro points out rarely wore a mask, even though it’s one of the most effective ways of curbing the spread of COVID-19.

“He has refused to wear a mask on nearly all occasions, and his staff and most attendees at his rallies follow his example,” Petro said. “The inevitable result has been the surge in positive cases among the president’s staff and other associates.”

Petro said Secret Service management must be committed to protecting its agents.

“The Secret Service cannot protect the president from himself, but its management has a solemn responsibility to protect those agents who put their lives on the line every day to protect him,” Petro said. “It should not be that hard to do.”

Secret Service Spends $1.1M at President Trump’s Properties, Including Hotel That Was Closed

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has dished out $1.1 million to stay at President Trump’s properties since he took office, The Washington Post reports.

The Secret Service was even charged $21,800 to rent a cottage and other rooms for staying at Trump’s Bedminster, N.J., club while it was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It wasn’t clear why the Secret Service was there, but Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump is believed to have stayed there at least once to celebrate Passover with her family.

The Washington Post reports:

When Trump and his family members visit Trump properties, aides and Secret Service agents follow. When those federal employees rent rooms, Trump’s businesses get the revenue. Taxpayers foot the bill.

The bills are usually paid in private, with no public disclosure. The government has not disclosed how much it has paid the Trump Organization in total. Instead, The Post has tried to create an accounting of these payments, one receipt at a time, using public-records requests and lawsuits

“The waste inherent in this is appalling,” Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president at the watchdog group Public Citizen, said of the Trump Organization’s charges.

Man Who ‘Worshipped’ Trump Pleads Guilty After Threatening Secret Service Agents with a Sword

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A Washington State man who threatened Secret Service agents with a sword in West Virginia has pleaded guilty to assault.

Joshua Wills, 31, of Bremerton, Washington, told a judge he was driving to Washington D.C. to see President Trump when he was confronted by Secret Service agents, who had received reports that he was in possession of a katana sword, The Associated Press reports.

When three Secret Service agents went to a campground where Wills had gone to spend the night in October 2018, “Wills pulled out his sword and brandished it at us,” Secret Service Agent Thomas Fleming said in a criminal complaint.

“Officers fired two non-lethal shotgun rounds to incapacitate Wills and he was wrestled to the ground,” Fleming said.

Wills’ father told Secret Service agents that his son had “worshipped” Trump and meant no harm. He planned to deliver unknown evidence to the president and stand outside the White House gate with a sword.

“One sure fire way not to see the President of the United States is to brandish a weapon and threaten the safety of local and federal officials,” U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said.

Wills could be ordered to spend up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced Nov. 9.

Secret Service Officer Shot Man Who Appeared to Be Holding a Gun. It was a comb

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A man shot by a Secret Service officer near the White House was holding a comb and suffered from mental illness, according to new court documents.

Myron Berryman, 51, who was charged with assaulting a police officer after the Aug. 10 shooting, approached the Secret Service officer and said he had a gun, The Washington Post reports. Court records say Berryman appeared to grab an object from the right side of his body and pointed his clasped arms at the officer.

Berryman was shot in the torso and is now recovering at a psychiatric hospital, his lawyer says.

It wasn’t until after the shooting that the officer realized Berryman had a comb, not a gun.

Just before the shooting, according to a police report, Berryman is accused of shooting at the officer, “I’m going to kill you. I’m going to shoot you.”

Kamala Harris Picks ‘Pioneer’ as Secret Service Code Name

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Sen. Kamala Harris, the presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee, has chosen her Secret Service code name, CNN reports.

Secret Service agents will refer to Harris as “Pioneer,” an apparent nod to being the first woman of color on a major party ticket.

The Secret Service began protecting Harris last week, soon after Joe Biden selected her as the candidate for vice president.

“Over time, the (Secret Service) protectees have almost taken on the persona of the call sign that they had selected,” Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service special agent, tells CNN.

“With (former President Barack) Obama, ‘Renegade’ is a great example: how he went against the establishment in some of the things that he had done, and like Barbara Bush, whose call sign was ‘Tranquility,’ embodied the tranquility and peacefulness in a time of war,” Wackrow says.

Biden’s code name is “Celtic,” and his wife’s is “Capri.”

The Secret Service’s code name for President Trump is “Mogul,” and his wife’s is “Muse.”

Kamala Harris Now Has Secret Service Protection As Biden’s running mate

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris now has Secret Service protection, CNN reports.

It’s typical for running mates to receive the protection of the Secret Service. What’s unclear is whether she has received a code name yet.

Biden’s code name is “Celtic.”

En route to her first public appearance with Biden since she was selected as his running mate, Harris was spotted in a motorcade in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

The pair criticized Trump’s handling of the coronavirus.

“The president’s mismanagement of the pandemic has plunged us into the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and we’re experiencing a moral reckoning with racism and systemic injustice that has brought a new coalition of conscience to the streets of our country,” Harris said. “America is crying out for leadership.”