The Secret Service will give agent protection to Ben Carson and Donald Trump while heavily upgrading Hillary Clinton’s existing detail, a Washington source close to the agency’s plans confirmed to Newsmax.
The deployment of agents around Republican candidates Trump and Carson is set to begin as early as next week. Approximately two dozen agents will be assigned to each candidate.
Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, has had Secret Service protection since leaving the White House as first lady in 2001, but her detail will be heavily upgraded by the agency’s move.
The agency’s decision was primarily triggered by a significant number of threats to Carson, including death threats and terrorist chatter, the source said.
The threats to the retired paediatric neurosurgeon have been “off the charts,” the source said. Polls show Carson either tied with Trump for front-runner status or in second place.
Armstrong Williams, Carson’s business manager, told Newsmax he could neither “confirm nor deny” the Secret Service protection. “We don’t comment on security matters involving Dr. Carson,” he said.
But Newsmax has learned that the Secret Service and other federal agencies, including the FBI, became increasingly alarmed in recent weeks as their own monitoring activities indicated that Carson faced serious danger.
Carson caused a political brouhaha in September when he told Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that a Muslim should not become president.
“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said. He later clarified his remarks, saying any Muslim who believed in Sharia law should be disqualified from serving in the Oval Office.
The source said there was evidence that home-grown terrorists might be targeting a major political candidate like Carson. The Secret Service approached the Carson campaign to offer federal protection.
Both Carson and his campaign strongly resisted the Secret Service’s request at first, the source said.
But then Carson reluctantly agreed to the deployment of agents after the agency warned of grave danger and shared certain intelligence. More HaTTiP