Trump tried to demand no ‘fat guys’ on his Secret Service detail, book claims

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Donald Trump walks back to the White House escorted by the Secret Service after appearing outside of St John’s Episcopal church  on June 1, 2020. (AFP via Getty Images)
Donald Trump walks back to the White House escorted by the Secret Service after appearing outside of St John’s Episcopal church on June 1, 2020. (AFP via Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump tried to have Secret Service agents removed from his detail because he thought they were too fat or too short, a new book claims.

“I want these fat guys off my detail. How are they going to protect me and my family if they can’t run down the street?” Mr Trump said, according to a new book by Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post. It’s possible that Mr Trump mistook office workers with active-duty agents.

A copy of Ms Leonnig’s book, Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, was obtained by The Guardian and will be published on 18 May.

Mr Trump was known for loving fast food, once serving it during a White House reception. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once called the then-president “morbidly obese” last year.

According to The Guardian, Zero Fail also chronicles how some members of the Trump family became inappropriately close to some agents who were assigned to their security details.

Ms Loenning writes that Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump’s Jr’s ex-wife, “started dating one of the agents who had been assigned to her family”. She filed for divorce in March 2018. The Post reporter further writes that neither the agent nor the Secret Service suffered any repercussions because neither the agent nor the agency were officially guarding Vanessa Trump at that time.

Ms Leonnig also writes that Tiffany Trump, daughter of the former president, broke up with her boyfriend and started “spending an unusual amount of time alone with a Secret Service agent on her detail”.

Secret Service leaders “became concerned at how close Tiffany appeared to be getting to the tall, dark and handsome agent,” according to Zero Fail.

Agents are prohibited from starting private relationships with those they are supposed to protect due to concerns that it could affect their judgement.

The agent protecting Tiffany Trump was reassigned, but both she and the agent claimed that nothing improper was taking place, noting that part of an agent’s job is spending time alone with those they protect.

According to Ms Leonnig, it was unclear if Donald Trump knew what was being said by Secret Service staff about his daughter and daughter-in-law.

The book is the “first definitive account of the rise and fall of the Secret Service, from the Kennedy assassination to the alarming mismanagement of the Obama and Trump years, right up to the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6,” according to publisher Random House.

Getting its start after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, the Secret Service “began in earnest” after the assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963.

Donald Trump neglected to implement “promised reforms” and instead “abused the Secret Service to rack up political and personal gains,” the publisher states.

Researching the book, Ms Leonnig “interviewed dozens of current and former agents”.

“I will be forever grateful to them for risking their careers,” she writes, adding “not because they wanted to share tantalizing gossip about presidents and their families, but because they know that the Service is broken and needs fixing. By telling their story, they hope to revive the Service they love”.

The Independent has reached out to the office of Mr Trump for comment.

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