Donald Trump Jr. declines Secret Service protection

Citing privacy concerns, Donald Trump Jr. has asked to be removed from Secret Service protection.
By Alex Bourque | Sep 19, 2017
The president's son, Donald Trump Jr., has chosen to forego Secret Service protection, citing the need for more privacy.

It was not clear if the decision applies only to Trump Jr. or extends to his wife Vanessa and their five children, although one close friend said the president's son has been talking for some time about giving up Secret Service protection for him and his family, according to The Washington Post.

Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent for President Obama, called the decision "negligent."

"In today's global risk environment, waiving this detail poses great danger to him and to him family," Wackrow said, in the Post report. "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. This decision is negligent."

But one source of frustration has been the Secret Service's pattern of sending a rotating set of temporary agents to watch over Trump Jr.'s young children.

"Every few weeks they get new people," said Rich Strapoli, a former Secret Service agent and member of the Trump administration. "There are all these new people coming and going. The kids don't like that. They can't get comfortable with someone they don't know."

Although round-the-clock Secret Service protection for a president's adult children is provided automatically, they have the right to turn it down.

In an unrelated action, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, will no longer be covered by Secret Service protection, according to The New York Times. While not covered by statute, the president approved temporary protection for Conway after she received threats early in the administration.

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