Senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett apparently has Secret Service protection.
This is highly unusual, and of course, costly. I’ve never really heard of someone who is merely a senior White House aide getting assigned Secret Service agents.
My understanding is that at the senior levels of the Bush White House, at least during the latter days, only the president and his family, the vice president, the chief of staff, the national security adviser, and the homeland security adviser were assigned Secret Service agents.
It’s possible that Jarrett has received enough specific and credible threats to justify Secret Service protection, or that the Secret Service has for some other reason calculated that she needs bodyguards. But it’s also possible this is a case of oddly overdoing it – and overusing taxpayer resources.
Is she really such a public figure? I’m sure 90 percent of Americans have little to no idea who she is. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is far better known and spends his time warning terrorists and our foreign adversaries about bad behavior while trumpeting the killing of Osama Bin Laden. I’m sure he does not have protection.
According to a local report, Jarrett was accompanied by at least two Secret Service agents during her pre-Martin Luther King Day appearance in Atlanta Sunday, where she bashed Republicans in church.
One source of mine, who is knowledgable about what a Secret Service detail would look like, said he spotted Jarrett at Reagan National Airport with her protection as she departed Washington just before Christmas.
After watching her blow past a long line at the security gate, he noticed she had one Secret Service agent in back and the other in front, with someone who was possibly a third agent to her side.