The agents are apparently struggling to deal with a "tidal wave of threats" made against the president on Twitter.
Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
The barrage of proclamations, admonitions, and borderline calls for war President Donald Trump fires off from his Twitter account every day have created a big-league security problem for the Secret Service, Politico reports.
The president has reportedly drawn an unprecedented number of threats from folks who are pissed off at what he says on Twitter, making it tough for the agents, charged with protecting him, to do their jobs. Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who worked under former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, told Politico that Trump's "Twitter thing" has "generated a tidal wave of threats" that the service is too understaffed to fully address.
"It's an arithmetic impossibility to interview every single person who sends a threat. It's not possible," he told Politico. "By necessity they have to triage what's credible and what's not and it's tough to do by just looking at a 140-character tweet."
The Secret Service is already stretched pretty thin trying to protect Trump's family and children, spanning DC and New York and—pretty regularly—taking trips across the country to the "Winter White House" at Mar-a-Lago, the New York Times reports. In March, the agency asked the White House to OK adding $60 million to the force's roughly $2 billion budget, hoping to cover the high cost of protecting the Trumps.
Aside from the fact that their jobs are more difficult than ever, it doesn't help that the Secret Service has faced a few sloppy PR scandals recently. In March, a laptop full of sensitive information was jacked from an agent's car. A day later, a man scaled the White House fence and wandered around the grounds for 17 minutes before he was detected. And earlier this month, an agent on Vice President Mike Pence's detail was caught meeting a prostitute at a Maryland hotel.
While the Secret Service can't ask Trump to stop tweeting, getting him to put his phone down—like he did before the election—might give them a bit of a reprieve and put him out of harm's way.
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