I’ve never thought about where Secret Service agents use the bathroom before — that’s on me. On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner’s Secret Service detail had been denied access to the bathrooms in their home for these past four years, leading agents to get increasingly inventive at finding a place to relieve themselves. Reports claim that agents were first offered a porta-potty, then resorted to using restaurant bathrooms and knocking on neighbors’ doors, including — for one particularly long stretch — using the bathroom in the garage at former president Barack Obama’s house nearby, which had been used as a command post by his own team.
A spokeswoman for the Secret Service has denied this claim, stating: “Secret Service personnel do not request access to the facilities at private residences,” she wrote. “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have not denied Secret Service personnel access to their home to include use of the restroom.”
Another source familiar with the situation, however, insists it was Ivanka and Kushner’s request not to let Secret Service agents in. And most agree on the events that followed. First, they installed a porta-potty outside their home, which other residents in the area objected to.
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“The porta-potty was the agency’s initial solution to the protective detail’s dilemma, but it was removed in the face of the neighborhood’s protests,” the Post reports. “The agents began using a bathroom in a garage at the Obamas’ house, which the former president’s protective detail had turned into a command post. The Obamas did not use the garage, so the extra traffic to and from the command post caused no problem.”
For all we know, that arrangement might have continued indefinitely — but Obama ultimately rescinded his invitation after “a Secret Service supervisor from the Trump/Kushner detail left an unpleasant mess in the Obama bathroom” some time before the fall of 2017.
Finally, the Post reports, they found a “toilet of their own,” though “it came at a cost to U.S. taxpayers.”
“Since September 2017, the federal government has been spending $3,000 a month — more than $100,000 to date — to rent a basement studio, with a bathroom, from a neighbor of the Kushner family,” the report claims, quoting a law enforcement official familiar with the situation as saying “it’s the first time I ever heard of a Secret Service detail having to go to these extremes to find a bathroom.”
Like I said, I’m no expert on Secret Service toilet protocol. But it seems distinctly odd that Jared and Ivanka’s mansion would be off-limits to their own agents, but not the home of a former president next door.
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