Donald Trump Jr., President Trump's eldest son and the acting head of the family real estate and branding company, has decided to voluntarily drop his Secret Service detail, telling friends he wants more privacy, several people familiar with the decision tell The Washington Post and USA Today. The Secret Service stopped protecting the younger Trump last week, The New York Times reports, though it's not clear if his wife and five children are still being protected. The Secret Service said it does not comment on who it is protecting out of safety considerations.
The Secret Service is obligated to protect the president and his family, but not top aides, and senior counselor Kellyanne Conway's detail is being dropped, too, the Times report. Conway was originally placed under Secret Service protection because she received threats early on in her tenure, but "that threat assessment has since changed," the Times says, citing a senior administration official. Protecting at least two fewer people should ease the financial and human strain on the Secret Service, especially since Don Trump Jr. travels extensively for business and leisure. The Secret Service will continue to protect the president and his other children and grandchildren, several top aides, and Trump Tower, his primary residence. Peter Weber
On Wednesday, the Secret Service disclosed that Xavier Morales, a recently promoted senior supervisor in the security clearance division, was placed on leave last week and at least temporarily stripped of his security clearance and gun after a female subordinate accused him of sexually assaulting her at the office after a work party. The March 31 party, at a Washington, D.C., brewery, had been to celebrate Morales' promotion to head of the Louisville office. He was supposed to start this week.
The D.C. police sex crimes unit and Homeland Security Department inspector general's office are investigating the allegations that Morales had grabbed and tried to kiss the coworker, after telling her at the party he wanted to have sex with her, The Washington Post reports. Morales, 48, is married to a special agent who was recently named a deputy assistant director at the Secret Service headquarters.
"The Secret Service is an agency that demands that our employees conduct themselves with the highest level of integrity," agency Director Joseph Clancy told The Post. "These allegations as reported are very disturbing." Peter Weber
In yet another apparent security lapse by the Secret Service, it has now been revealed that a man falsely posing as a member of Congress made his way into a secure area at an event where President Obama appeared just last Saturday, an anonymous White House official has told Bloomberg.
The impostor said that he was Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-N.J.) at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation awards dinner. He got into the backstage area, either during or just after Obama's speech, as the members of Congress were lining up to have their pictures taken with the president. After a member of the White House staff realized that he was in fact not the real Rep. Payne, the man was asked to leave.
A spokesman for the Secret Service defended the agency's performance in this matter: "This guy went through security, fully screened." All attendees at the dinner indeed had to get through security, but this might not be the greatest consolation. Eric Kleefeld