A former agent blasted President Obama for blaming the Secret Service for the decision to shut down White House tours, calling it “an act of political cowardice” on Your World with Neil Cavuto this afternoon. Dan Bongino explained that the agency’s job is to provide security for the White House; it does not determine who comes in. “To say that this was the Secret Service, and that they somehow injected themselves into a political decision — well, do they get to tell [the president] to stop taking vacations and to stop going golfing as well?” Bongino said. “This doesn’t even pass the smell test.”
The administration’s explanation for who decided to stop the tours in response to sequester cuts has been murky over the last few days. Obama told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in an interview this week that the Secret Service was responsible, but press secretary Jay Carney had earlier told reporters that the White House made the call. Carney later attempted to clarify that the Secret Service decided to withdraw personnel, which ultimately prompted the White House to cancel tours altogether.
Bongino, who was Maryland’s Republican candidate for Senate in 2012, called the administration’s laying the blame for the decision on the Secret Service “nonsense.” He added that he knows current agents who are upset with the White House for “throwing the Secret Service under the bus,” but they will “take it on the chin.”