I’ve been going through a phase where I can barely watch the news for more than ten minutes at a time, because I need to take care of my own mental health before anything else. A few nights ago, I did watch a Chris Hayes segment where Hayes and a guest talked about Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump-Russia, and how Mueller seemed to be zeroing in on Precious Jared Kushner and Donald Trump Jr. Like, Mueller’s investigation seems to be gathering a lot of evidence against those two in particular, and the All In segment was doing some legal strategizing/war-gaming about whether blood is thicker than water, whether Kushner would “turn” on the Trump family, whether Bigly Trump would protect Don Jr. before Precious Jared, etc. Well, here’s an interesting turn of events – which may have nothing to do with that story – apparently, Don Jr. is asking to have his Secret Service protection removed.
Donald Trump Jr. has asked to be removed from Secret Service protection, telling friends he wants more privacy, according to two people briefed on the decision. It’s a rare move for a member of the president’s family to forgo a security detail, in part because adult children are counseled by the Secret Service that they are quickly seen as targets for those railing against their famous parents.
One close friend of the president’s son said Trump Jr. has been talking for weeks about waiving the 24-hour protection that Secret Service agents provide him, his wife and their five children. But it was unclear Monday night whether he had requested his wife and children be dropped from protection. Secret Service spokeswoman Catherine Milhoan declined to comment on whether Trump Jr. and his family were no longer receiving protection.
“To ensure the safety and security of our protectees and their families, we will not confirm who is currently receiving Secret Service protection,” Milhoan said. Trump Jr.’s wish to quit Secret Service protection was first reported by the New York Times on Monday night. Several former Secret Service officials strongly recommended that the president’s son reconsider his choice, saying it could put him in jeopardy. Jonathan Wackrow, a former member of President Barack Obama’s detail and now an executive of a risk-management company in New York, called the decision “shocking.”
“In today’s global risk environment, waiving this detail poses great danger to him and to his family,” Wackrow said. “What he is becoming potentially is a target of opportunity. People who want to lash out at the president are going to seek that path of least resistance,” he added. “This decision is negligent.”
Trump Jr.’s push to eliminate his 24-hour protection comes at a time when the extended Trump family has faced steady criticism for straining the resources of the Secret Service. The agency’s workload for security personnel has demonstrably grown under Trump, who has five children and nine grandchildren. The Secret Service now protects 42 people around the clock, 11 more than it did under Obama. The Secret Service’s list of people to protect under Trump includes 18 members of the president’s family. The Secret Service acknowledged it is strained to pay its agents overtime based on the demands of multiple round-the-clock details.
On one side, I approve of this as a cost-cutting measure, because the 24-7 Secret Service detail on the Trump family cannot be sustained and something has to give. But as a legal issue, it’s fascinating, and it makes me wonder what Don Jr. is hiding, and what he wants to keep hiding. Bro just wants to communicate with Russians IN PEACE, y’all. He wants to be able to fly to Moscow whenever he needs to for business, without the Secret Service getting on his jock! Kellyanne Conway is also asking that her Secret Service detail get pulled, which makes more sense because everyone (even “haters”) started ignoring her a few months ago.
What else? The Deplorables are throwing a party about CNN’s new report about the FBI wiretapping Paul Manafort during and after the election. Like, the Deplorables think Trump is being “vindicated” because he always said Obama wiretapped him. But… the FBI wiretapped Manafort for a reason, because he was as corrupt as they come?
Last thing: stay woke on health care. The Cassidy-Graham bill is a monstrosity and contact your representatives.
Photos courtesy of Getty.