White House press secretary Sarah Sanders will begin receiving Secret Service protection as soon as tomorrow, according to NBC News and CNN, marking an unusual level of protection for what has traditionally been a low-threat job.
No reason was given as to the extension of protection to Sanders. The Secret Service told CNN, “For operational security purposes the Secret Service does not comment on its protective operations.” Sanders didn’t provide comment to news organizations.
The Secret Service typically protects the president, vice president, their immediate families, former presidents (along with spouses and children under 16), foreign heads of states, and major presidential and vice-presidential candidates and spouses. Press secretaries are not generally on the list.
The Trump Administration has been criticized over Secret Service costs due to the large size of Trump’s immediate family and his frequent travel to his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago, to play golf and meet with guests.
Over the weekend, the owner of Red Hen, a restaurant in Lexington, Va., asked Sanders to leave because of differences with her politics. President Donald Trump later castigated the restaurant on Twitter, saying that the restaurant’s exterior was dirty. The restaurant has also received thousands of negative Yelp reviews. Unaffiliated restaurants with the same name have received calls threatening murder.