A senior U.S. Secret Service agent posted Facebook condemnations of President Trump during the past seven months, including one in which she said she wouldn’t want to “take a bullet” for him.
She explained herself saying she viewed his presidential candidacy as a “disaster” for the country, and especially for women and minorities.
Kerry O’Grady, the special agent in charge of the Secret Service’s Denver district, oversees coordination with Washington-based advance teams for all presidential candidate and presidential trips to the area, including all upcoming or future trips by the president, vice president or Trump administration officials.
Despite her senior security role, she has made her disdain for Trump and his incoming administration clear to her Facebook followers, who included current and former Secret Service agents and other people who were employees at the time of the posts. O’Grady’s posts triggered at least one complaint to the office that oversees investigations into Secret Service misbehavior, two knowledgeable sources told the Washington Examiner.
In one Facebook post O’Grady wrote at 11:07 p.m. on a Sunday in October, she endorsed Hillary Clinton and said she would endure “jail time” rather than “taking a bullet” for what she regarded as a “disaster” for America.
The post didn’t mention Trump by name but clearly referred to him.
In the same post, she mentioned the Hatch Act, which bars executive branch staff, except the president, vice president and some other senior executive officials, from engaging in certain political activities.
“As a public servant for nearly 23 years, I struggle not to violate the Hatch Act. So I keep quiet and skirt the median,” she wrote. “To do otherwise can be a criminal offense for those in my position. Despite the fact that I am expected to take a bullet for both sides.
“But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here. Hatch Act be damned. I am with Her.”
Secret Service employees are among those federal employees subject to enhanced Hatch Act restrictions, including these two rules:
- May not post a comment to a blog or a social media site that advocates for or against a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.
- May not use any email account or social media to distribute, send or forward content that advocates for or against a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.
Asked for comment, the U.S. Secret Service responded: “The USSS is aware of the postings and we are looking into the matter.”
In a lengthy interview with the Washington Examiner Monday, O’Grady said she took down the post after two to three days of greater reflection and wasn’t trying to imply she wouldn’t take a bullet for Trump or any officials in the Trump administration.
“It was an internal struggle for me but as soon as I put it up, I thought it was not the sentiment that I needed to share because I care very deeply about the mission,” she said.
O’Grady repeatedly stressed that she would in no way shirk her duties to protect the president because of her opposition to Trump’s candidacy and support for Clinton.
“No, not at all. I firmly believe in this job. I’m proud to do it and we serve the office of the president,” she said.
At the time of the posting, she said she was reacting to news about Trump sexually assaulting women. O’Grady’s Facebook post came in the wake of the release of a video in which Trump and “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush engaged in a lewd conversation about women in which Trump bragged about being able to grab women by their genitals.
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SOURCE: Washington Examiner – Susan Crabtree