A senior U.S. Secret Service agent is under investigation after writing a series of scathing Facebook posts assailing Donald Trump, including one in which she claimed she would rather endure jail time than take a bullet for someone she considered to be a “disaster” for the country.
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 [sic] 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.
While the post didn’t mention Trump by name, it was clear O’Grady was referring to him.
In the post, O’Grady mentioned the Hatch Act, which prohibits executive branch employees, except the president, vice president, and some other high-level 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.”
The Washington Examiner spoke to O’Grady about the post:
In a lengthy interview with the Washington Examiner on Monday, O’Grady said she took down the post after two to three days of greater reflection and wasn’t trying to imply she wouldn’t take a bullet for Trump or any officials in the Trump administration.
She added, “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.”
In another pre-election post, O’Grady shared a Huffington Post story with the headline: “Scott Baio Defends Trump’s Sexism with More Sexism.” She added her own commentary to her Facebook post, saying, “One word: douche. How do you like them apples?!”
O’Grady continued posting political, anti-Trump material after he became president.
In a post in late November, O’Grady shared Facebook remarks from the liberal news outlet Vox, which carried a photo of Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and a story with the headline, “Donald Trump nominates Jeff Sessions to serve as attorney general.” The Vox Facebook post commented, “Just a few years ago, this would have been unimaginable.”
O’Grady added her own comment on the post: “We are moving our civil rights into a period of bigotry, misogyny and racism that this country has not tolerated for decades. Dark ages. I am horrified and dismayed beyond words.”
As recently as last Saturday she posted the logo for the Women’s March on Denver as her Facebook cover backdrop.
When one of her Facebook followers commented that “none of these women represent me #justsayin,” O’Grady countered that “all of these women represent me! Proud to say it! #nasty.” That back and forth, captured in a screengrab of the post, no longer appears on O’Grady’s Facebook page.
Women anti-Trump activists have taken on the label of “nasty woman” to demonstrate their opposition to him. The phrase is a reference to Trump’s remark calling Clinton “such a nasty woman” in the final moments of the presidential debate in late October.
At 11:23 p.m. on Inauguration Day, she updated her profile picture to an artist’s rendering of Princess Leia with the words, “A woman’s place is in the resistance.” “The resistance,” with its allusion to the rebels in the “Star Wars” movies, has become a moniker for those opposing Trump’s presidency.
It’s one thing to hold private opinions about a commander-in-chief she is sworn to protect, but to openly post that she is also a member of the “resistance” to his presidency seems entirely inappropriate.
It also appears to be in direct violation of the enhanced Hatch Act restrictions Secret Service members are supposed to adhere to. Those restrictions include the following two rules:
- May not post a comment to a blog or a social media site that advocates for or against a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.
- May not use any email account or social media to distribute, send or forward content that advocates for or against a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.
It seems boring and trite to ask (because there are countless instances in which the question is apropos), but imagine if such a stance had been taken by a member of the Secret Service against President Barack Obama in 2009. That individual would have been gone immediately because the popular outrage spurred by the media would have demanded it.
Most of O’Grady’s anti-Trump posts were still up as of Monday morning, yet she still has a job.
She told the Examiner that her screed about not taking a bullet for Trump was just an “emotional reaction” to breaking news about Trump sexually assaulting women. The post came after the scandalous “Access Hollywood” video had been released, featuring host Billy Bush and Trump engaged in a lewd conversation about women.
Playing the victim card, she said she had been sexually assaulted in college, so therefore “there was a very emotional reaction to what was said.”
O’Grady repeatedly stressed that she would not shirk her duties to protect the president because of her opposition to Trump and support for Clinton, but on Facebook she has shown herself to be an emotion-driven, shrill harpy. She should have been fired months ago, or at least severely punished by being assigned to Hillary Clinton’s Secret Service detail.
The U.S. Secret Service told the Washington Examiner that “the USSS is aware of the postings and we are looking into the matter.”