At least when viewed from the outside, the relationship between Donald Trump and the Secret Service has always seemed a curious one. Trump has seemed to prefer relying on his own personal bodyguards to handle security at his events, and there have long been scattered reports of the Secret Service having a hard time working around it. But now come a pair of developments which suggest Trump and the Secret Service are on the verge of getting divorced entirely.
First came the story from the BBC that during Donald Trump’s upcoming eighteen day golf vacation, the Secret Service will use drones to watch over Trump remotely while he’s playing golf (link). The story was met with confusion across social media: was this merely some kind of technological breakthrough, or had Trump perhaps told the agents they weren’t allowed to follow him around the golf course in person? Then came a second and far more blunt revelation.
Based on a report from the Washington Post, it appears Donald Trump has essentially kicked the Secret Service out of Trump Tower. It had been running a command post from a floor just below Trump’s own apartment, which it was renting at a hefty cost. But then the command post was moved to a trailer outside Trump Tower, and is now reportedly being moved away from Trump Tower entirely (link). Melania and Barron Trump are no longer living in Trump Tower, but still, these developments seem bizarre.
It’s all enough to ask the question, while admittedly not yet knowing the answer, of whether Donald Trump’s increasing paranoia has led him to try to chase away the Secret Service. This won’t prevent the agents from finding a way to do their jobs well, as they’re committed professionals. But this curiously timed divorce between Trump and the agents protecting him is worth continuing to watch, as Trump continues to try to scapegoat nearly everyone around him for his own mounting failures.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report