Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump wants the Secret Service to provide him with protection because he is attracting massive crowds during his campaign. Trump, the billionaire real estate mogul turned politician, believes that the agency is not providing him with protection because he is a Republican, but the agency says he has never asked them for it.
In an interview with The Hill, the Republican said he is attracting crowds just as large as Barack Obama did eight years ago and that at this point during the 2008 cycle, the then-Illinois senator had the agency's protection. "I want to put them on notice because they should have a liability," Trump said. "Personally, I think if Obama were doing as well as me he would've had Secret Service [earlier]. I have by far the biggest crowds."
The Hill noted that Obama was given Secret Service protection starting on 3 May 2007. Trump added that his private security has held discussions with the Secret Service but that the agency has not provided a definitive answer. "They're in no rush because I'm a Republican. They don't give a s**t," Trump said.
He later clarified: "Of course I don't think they'd want anything to happen. But I would think they should be very proactive and want protection for somebody like me that has 20,000 people at any time ... You would think that they would want to be very proactive, but we have not heard from them."
According to The Washington Post, Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron said the agency did not receive an official request for protection from the GOP candidate. "If a request is received, this authorisation is determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security after consultation with a congressional advisory committee which includes the Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader and one additional member selected by the aforementioned committee," Catron said in a statement. The former reality TV star reportedly boosted his private security detail in July after receiving an alleged threat from Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.