President Donald Trump continues to benefit from Secret Service protection despite agents not being paid because of the government shutdown, something former President Ronald Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis shamed him for on Thursday.
Trump’s shutdown has now lasted four whole weeks and is set to enter a fifth week with no end in sight as 800,000 or more federal workers remain unpaid, including Secret Service agents whose job it is to literally sacrifice their lives to protect the president.
The Secret Service is run out the Department of Homeland Security, one of the many agencies that have not been funded because Trump refuses to sign a bill without money for his border wall.
Approximately 6,000 personnel are working without pay right now, resulting in many considering looking for a job elsewhere to pay the bills.
“There are people that are saying I like this job and I’ll put up with it for as long as I can, but I know if this government shutdown continues, then financially I can’t do that to my family,” one agent told CNN. “I will have to go somewhere else. If you’ve got guys thinking about how they’re going to make their house payment, I can just tell you, you’re not doing your job right. Your head is not in the right place — this is affecting people.”
And could be the difference between life and death as Patti Davis explained in a Washington Post op-ed this week, because “These guys have to put themselves between you and danger. They literally have to take a bullet for you.”
The way they are being treated now, it’s possible they may think twice about how willing they are to take that bullet.
Davis, the daughter of Ronald Reagan, blasted Trump for treating the Secret Service like dirt:
“I’ve thought about his words often lately, as President Trump has huffed and puffed about the government shutdown, threatening to let it go on for months, even years,” she wrote. “I thought about it when he described being alone in the White House over Christmas and looking out at men with machine guns. He made a quip about the machine guns — trying, I guess, to be funny. But there is nothing funny about this shutdown. The agents protecting him and his family are showing up, without pay, for a job in which the central theme is: If bullets fly, step in front of them.”
“He has not said a word about what is happening to these agents because of the government shutdown, which he said he would own,” Davis continued. “These are men and women with families, with bills to pay, who went through rigorous training to be accepted into the Secret Service, who are serious and dedicated, and don’t deserve to be treated as indentured servants whose livelihoods are immaterial.”
Indeed, Trump is treating these agents as if his life is worth more than theirs, taking for granted the oath they took to protect the president no matter his political ideology. They can’t run to daddy for money like he did, so the least Trump can do is make sure they are paid for their work. But Trump is forcing them to work for with no paycheck and that shows these men and women just how little he cares about them.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if the president of the United States showed some empathy for the agents whose job it is to protect him?” Davis concluded. “But then that would indicate he is a person who cares, and he’s spent decades demonstrating that he doesn’t.”
The Secret Service could end this shutdown immediately by walking off the job en masse. Because since Trump only cares about himself, he’ll beg Congress to send him a bill without wall funding so that his protection detail will be restored. If there’s one thing Trump has always been scared of, it’s dying. It’s why he dodged the draft five times during the Vietnam War and it’s why he refused to visit troops in a war zone for two years. Without his bodyguards, the White House would be a death trap. He should probably think about that more than he does about his wall.
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