The men and women responsible for ensuring the safety of the president of the United States might not take a bullet because the president happens to be Donald Trump.
The Washington Examiner is reporting that a “senior” Secret Service agent said in a Facebook post that “she wouldn’t want to ‘take a bullet’ for him.”
She explained herself saying she viewed his presidential candidacy as a “disaster” for the country, and especially for women and minorities.
Kerry O’Grady, the special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Denver district, oversees coordination with Washington-based advance teams for all presidential candidate and presidential trips to the area, including all upcoming or future trips by the president, vice president or Trump administration officials.
Despite her senior security role, she has made her disdain for Trump and his incoming administration clear to her Facebook followers, who included current and former Secret Service agents and other people who were employees at the time of the posts. O’Grady’s posts triggered at least one complaint to the office that oversees investigations into Secret Service misbehavior, two knowledgeable sources told the Washington Examiner.
In one Facebook post O’Grady wrote at 11:07 p.m. on a Sunday in October, she endorsed Hillary Clinton and said she would endure “jail time” rather than “taking a bullet” for what she regarded as a “disaster” for America.
The post didn’t mention Trump by name but clearly referred to him.
In the same post, she mentioned the Hatch Act, which bars executive branch staff, except the president, vice president and some other senior executive officials, from engaging in certain political activities.
“As a public servant for nearly 23 years, I struggle not to violate the Hatch Act. So I keep quiet and skirt the median,” she wrote. “To do otherwise can be a criminal offense for those in my position. Despite the fact that I am expected to take a bullet for both sides.
“But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here. Hatch Act be damned. I am with Her.”
O’Grady can’t be the only agent in the Secret Service who would hesitate to do their job and protect the president by sacrificing their own life if need be. That’s why the Secret Service should not be trusted to carry out its own investigation. Congress has to step in—and step in fast—to discover which agents feel they can’t do their jobs and which can.
She may damn the Hatch Act, but the law is clear: the strictures against partisan political actions include postings on social media.
O’Grady took the Facebook post down a few days later and explained it this way:
“It was an internal struggle for me but as soon as I put it up, I thought it was not the sentiment that I needed to share because I care very deeply about the mission,” she said.
O’Grady repeatedly stressed that she would in no way shirk her duties to protect the president because of her opposition to Trump’s candidacy and support for Clinton.
“No, not at all. I firmly believe in this job. I’m proud to do it and we serve the office of the president,” she said.
At the time of the posting, she said she was reacting to news about Trump sexually assaulting women. O’Grady’s Facebook post came in the wake of the release of a video in which Trump and “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush engaged in a lewd conversation about women in which Trump bragged about being able to grab women by their genitals.
So, which O’Grady do we believe? The one who said she wouldn’t take a bullet for Trump or the one who said she would?
This extraordinary breach of professional conduct should result in either a long suspension or outright dismissal from the agency.