According to a new report in The Washington Post, which cites “a law enforcement official familiar with the situation,” Secret Service agents have been “kept out” of the D.C. residence of the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner “at the family’s request,” leading the security agency to end up renting a nearby basement studio for what will end up costing the government some $144,000. The Secret Service agents who have been protecting Ivanka and Jared’s family were “[instructed] not to use any of the half-dozen bathrooms inside the couple’s house,” according to the Post, forcing them to spend “months searching for a reliable restroom to use on the job, according to neighbors and law enforcement officials.”
Jared and Ivanka told the Secret Service not to use ANY of the half-dozen bathrooms in their home, so 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. https://t.co/lsftQhjhiK
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) January 14, 2021
Before the Secret Service settled on the arrangement of renting a nearby basement studio, agents temporarily resorted to the usage of bathrooms at nearby homes of former President Barack Obama and soon-to-be ex-Vice President Mike Pence, along with local businesses. Ultimately, “Arrangements that allow for some distance between Secret Service agents and those they guard are not unusual,” the Post notes, but “the lengths to which the agents’ exile took them” were, in fact, “unusual.” A law enforcement official who is familiar with the details of the situation said that the occasion was “the first time” that they “ever heard of a Secret Service detail having to go to these extremes to find a bathroom.”
White House spokesperson Judd Deere denied that Secret Service agents were barred from using the facilities at Ivanka and Jared’s home at the request of the couple. Deere commented as follows:
‘When discussions regarding protecting their home were initially had in 2017, Ivanka and Jared made clear that their home would always be open to the incredible men and women on their detail. It was only after a decision by the [Secret Service] was made that their detail sought other accommodations. The Kushners have a tremendous amount of respect for the servicemen and women on their detail and for the United States Secret Service as a whole. Their home will always be open to them and they have immense gratitude for their service over the last four years.’
The Kushner security detail’s rented space is owned by Kay Kendall, who serves as chairwoman of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and whose husband is Jack Davies, founder of AOL International. The Secret Service would not comment on the record about the issue, while the White House is definitely not a particularly credible source, generally speaking.
This situation isn’t the only occasion in which the Secret Service has incurred serious charges during their protection of members of the Trump family.
During stays at Trump Organization properties, the outgoing president’s family business has charged the Secret Service some $238,000 while the agents have been guarding Ivanka, Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and their family members. Throughout the entirety of his time in office, the outgoing president himself has maintained his financial stake in his business, setting himself up to potentially financially benefit from these arrangements.