When comparing Donald Trump to the presidents from the past, the list could get very long when it comes to differences. While critics might have a field day with this, Trump’s supporters see his different tendencies as a breath of fresh air.
One of Trump’s habits has been recently documented in pictures, and it is a tendency that has not been demonstrated by any of the previous administrations, according to Politico. While the pictures are evidence that Trump is doing this, it is not known why. With that said, there are a few different theories floated out as to why Trump treats the Secret Service a little differently than the presidents of yesteryear.
Looking back over pictures of the previous presidents, the first ladies, and their families, while there are some photos with the Secret Service agents assigned to them in the shot, the majority of the time the agents are out of the frame. You may see agents around them while they are in a crowd, but when going about their daily activities, the Secret Service agents protecting the presidents of the past were pretty much out of the picture.
Dan Bongino is a former Secret Service agent who was on the protective detail for presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He recently wrote a book on the challenges the Secret Service face while protecting Trump and his rather large family.
One of the tidbits to come out of his research was the Secret Service being seen at an arm’s length proximity to Trump and his staffers. According to Politico, Trump seems comfortable inside this “protective bubble” provided by the Secret Service agents and that goes along for his staff as well. According to Bongino, when Trump and his staff are out in public, the agents are often seen “at arm’s length” or even closer to the president, which is unlike the previous administrations.
Bongino notes, “You’re seeing them [Secret Service agents] in pictures you never saw before because staffers aren’t telling them to get away.”
Trump has a long history with hiring and using personal security, so having security always present could be like a second nature to today’s president and his family. Trump is also someone who appears comfortable with an entourage in tow. Surrounding himself with security isn’t a sudden change for him, as it might have been for the other presidents in the past.
For whatever the reason, Trump, his staff, and his family seem fine when it comes time to sharing their space and pictures with the Secret Service agents who are entrusted with their safety. This also suggests that Trump doesn’t pull any type of power play by wanting to be treated any different than the next person. As Bongino said, “staffers aren’t telling them to get away,” again, unlike previous administrations. It sounds as if Trump considers the Secret Service agents in his entourage as just one of the gang.
The Secret Service detail assigned to Trump have had their fare share of headaches. Unlike previous administrations, Trump has a tendency to be more spur of the moment in his actions. This can make it difficult for the folks in charge of his safety. Before the president heads anywhere, there’s a group of Secret Service agents who get there before his scheduled arrival time so they can scope out the place and secure the location.
Trump has been known to change his mind at the last minute, making it tough for the Secret Service who are in the middle of scoping out his next location. Because of Trump’s tendency to make a change at the last minute, the White House staff members have developed a reputation as being rather “herky-jerky” when it comes to scheduling with Law Enforcement, reports Politico.
“For example. they’ve abruptly canceled at least three in-the-works presidential trips — two to Trump Tower and one last weekend to Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey golf club — that agents had started doing advance preparations work for,” writes Politico.
Another thing that Trump has a tendency to do that his predecessors didn’t do is to offer up his daily thoughts on Twitter, reports Gizmodo. This has left the Secret Service taxed with investigating all the threats that his tweets have conjured up on Twitter.
Gizmodo writes, “By constantly tweeting, often in an aggressive and confrontational voice, the president gets threatened on a daily basis by people who see Twitter as a direct channel to speak with the most powerful person in the world.”
They report that Trump tweets “morning, day, and night,” and while there are some great tweets coming back at him from his supporters, those threats keep piling in. Because Trump is the president, they have to investigate the threatening tweets he receives. According to the Secret Service, this has left them with a new challenge in comparison to other administrations. That challenge is trying to figure when a threat made against Trump is credible. Despite his Twitter debacle, he is still considered easy to handle in comparison to how the Secret Service looked at dealing with Hillary Clinton. She was a nightmare for the Secret Service, reports the New York Post in an article from 2015.
As an example, they cite a simple morning greeting to Hillary from a uniformed Secret Service Agent. It went like this, according to the Post.
“‘Good morning, ma’am,” said the Secret Service agent.
“‘F**k off,” Hillary Clinton replied.
A book, First Family Detail, which was written by Ronald Kessler, describes the behavior witnessed by the Secret Service agents during their time with Hillary. The men and women assigned to Hillary’s detail explain how when the cameras are on she’s playing one role, but when they go off there’s another Hillary that emerges.
Kessler writes, “As soon as the cameras are gone, her angry personality, nastiness, and imperiousness become evident.”
Even though he is just rounding his first 100 days in office, Trump has been a different type of president all around when it comes to people. Even when the New England Patriots visited the White House as the winning Super Bowl team, they were treated differently this year. It was their fifth time being there, but they weren’t confined to the East Wing; they actually visited with the president in the Oval Office. Washington’s Top News described how different this year’s trip was in comparison to their previous times at the White House as the winning Super Bowl Team.
WTOP writes, “Obama was usually late to arrive, and most of his events were held inside the East Room. Players, owners etc. were made available to the media after the event wrapped up.”
WTOP continues, “Trump was early. The event was held outside on the South Lawn. And there was no media availability for any players or the Patriots owner at the end of the event, as Trump appeared to have tried to do the direct opposite of what Obama did.”
[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]