US Secret Service agents guarding President Donald Trump’s family members and advisers, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, were instructed not to use the half-dozen bathrooms in the couple’s house in Washington, compelling them to use facilities at neighbours’ houses and a portable washroom for months, according to a report by the Washington Post.
Asked not to use the bathrooms inside the couple’s sprawling 5,000-square-foot house in the elite Kalorama neighbourhood, several US agents resorted to using a porta-potty as well as bathrooms at the nearby homes of former President Barack Obama, and Vice-President Mike Pence. Sometimes, they even went up to commercial facilities nearby to use the washrooms, two law enforcement officials cited by the Washington Post report said.
Finally, in September 2017, the federal government rented from a neighbour a basement studio with a washroom for $3,000 per month, which resolved the issue but came at a total cost of $100,000 to American taxpayers.
A White House spokesperson, however, denied that the President’s daughter and son-in-law had restricted the Secret Service agents’ entry into their house.
“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,” White House spokesperson Judd Deere said. “Their home will always be open to them and they have immense gratitude for their service over the last four years,” the spokesperson added.
The law enforcement officials gave a different version. One of the officials cited above told the Post that the reason for not allowing agents inside the house was not known, but the second official said the decision was taken by the Kushners.
“It’s the first time I ever heard of a Secret Service detail having to go to these extremes to find a bathroom,” said one of the officials aware of the matter.
A spokesperson for the Secret Service refused to comment.
The US Secret Service is a federal agency that is in charge of protecting US political leaders, their families, and visiting heads of governments along with conducting financial investigations.