Joe Biden is expected to receive Secret Service protection with a new team that is more familiar to him and replacing some agents amid concerns that they may be politically allied with Donald Trump.
The Guardian (h/t Amil I) In a changing of the guard as well as the man to be guarded at the White House, Biden’s security detail will undergo some staffing changes, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.
Several “senior” Secret Service agents are poised to return to the president-elect’s protection team and Biden knows these agents well because they guarded him and his family during his time as vice-president, according to the article, echoed in a report by CNN, citing a law enforcement source.
Although staffing changes are typical, several incidents reportedly contributed to the heightened concerns from Biden’s allies that some agents and officers might be loyal to Trump.
Some members of the president’s detail reportedly urged their colleagues not to wear masks during trips, for example – despite the federal government’s official guidance on Covid-19 – as Trump himself disparaged mask-wearing and held out for months before being seen wearing one in public.
In what was described as an “unprecedented” move, the Secret Service had permitted former detail leader Anthony Ornato to temporarily leave his role and serve as White House deputy chief of staff.
Ornato was among the coordinators of the June photo op for which Trump marched through Washington DC’s Lafayette Square to stand with a Bible – after peaceful protesters were forced from the area by troops on federal order, sparking uproar in political circles as well as among the public.
Ornato also assisted in the planning of many Trump campaign rallies even as Covid-19 tore through the US and gatherings were being discouraged or banned outright.