The Slatest

The United States May Soon Give Secret Service Protection to Reality TV Star Donald Trump

Precious cargo.

Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

This appears to be happening. Donald Trump, his hair, his pout, his safety, his everything, may soon be the responsibility of the U.S. government and the American taxpayer. Trump has requested Secret Service protection from the Department of Homeland Security, as has fellow Republican candidate Ben Carson. But it’s the thought of Donald Trump preening behind Secret Service agents dedicated to protecting him that lingers. It’s how the Founding Fathers would have wanted it surely.

Yes, of course, Donald Trump is not just a reality TV star anymore, or merely a real estate developer, he’s also, still, a candidate for president. So it makes sense that at some point he would get the highest level of protection we as a nation can provide, but that doesn’t change that it’s the Donald on the receiving end of agents sworn to protect the democratic integrity of the republic, which in this case means potentially giving their lives to let Donald Trump speak. That’s quite a turn for the Donald Trump of yesteryear: Donald Trump the WWE wrestling fan, Donald Trump the beauty pageant owner, Donald Trump the self-proclaimed business advisor to Mike Tyson. But here we are as a nation.


Politico reports there are no immediate plans to provide the two leading Republican candidates Secret Service protection, but that could change soon. “As prescribed by statute, authorization for Secret Service protection for presidential candidates 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,” a Homeland Security spokesman told ABC News.

Here’s more on the requirements for doling out Secret Service protection.

Candidates must:

– Be publically announced

– Have some degree of prominence as shown by opinion polls

– Be actively campaigning and entered in at least 10 state primaries

– Be seeking the nomination of a qualified party

– Have qualified for matching funds in the amount of at least $100,000

– Have received contributions totaling $10 million

“President Obama was put under Secret Service protection earlier than any other candidate in presidential election history during the 2008 campaign,” according to NPR. “He received a security detail in on May 3, 2007, about eight months before any of the primary contests began.” Hillary Clinton also receives Secret Service protection as the former First Lady.