Instructed not to use any of the half-dozen bathrooms in the couple’s house, details of the secret services assigned to President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law spent months searching for a reliable toilet to use in the workplace, according to neighbors and authorities. the order of officials. After resorting to a gate-pot, as well as bathrooms at the former home of former President Barack Obama and the not-so-close residence of Vice President Pence, agents finally found a toilet to call their own.
But it cost American taxpayers. Since September 201
A White House spokesman denied that Trump and Kushner had restricted agents from their 5,000-square-foot home, with six bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, and said the Secret Service’s decision was to prevent internal security details. This account is disputed by a law enforcement officer familiar with the situation, who said the agents were detained at the request of the family.
A spokesman for the secret services declined to comment, saying the agency “does not discuss the means, methods or resources used to carry out our security mission.”
Provisions that allow some distance between Secret Service agents and those they guard are not uncommon, especially when the agency’s “means, methods, or resources” include indoor plumbing. People who qualify for such protection often occupy expensive, sprawling properties, where a detail can use a garage, billiards or other outbuilding such as a command post, rest room and bathroom.
The episode in Calorama is unusual because of the length to which the exile of the agents took them. In addition to relying on the toilets used by fellow agents assigned to Obama and Pence, details occasionally appear in neighborhood companies to take advantage of the facilities.
“For the first time, I hear about the details of the secret services, which have to go to these extremes to find a bathroom,” said a law enforcement officer familiar with the situation.
The strange odyssey of the agents took place in front of a rich enclave in Northwest Washington, where there are many people deplore the Trump presidency and express disappointment at what they see as the Kushner family’s neglect of their neighbors. The community also includes numerous embassies and a house owned by Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post.
The blockade of precious street parking spaces by the details of the Trump / Kushner secret service shook the neighborhood in early 2017. The gate erected for agents further infuriated residents unaccustomed to such landmarks of the majestic Tracy Place NW. As the Trump administration enters its final days with the presidential impeachment for the second time to incite a deadly attack on the Capitol, the eyes in Calorama are whitened by the sight of moving trucks.
“They kind of came up with the attitude, ‘We’re royalty,'” Diane Bruce, who used to live across the street, said of Kushner and Trump. “When they put the gate on the pot right on the sidewalk, which we were not allowed to walk on, then the people in the neighborhood said, ‘This is really not acceptable. “
Bruce said he sympathized with the family’s protective details as he watched agents try to balance the call of debt with the call of nature.
These poor people, she recalled, thinking as the pot at the gate was pulled out. “What, will they have to get in their cars” to go to the bathroom?
Two law enforcement officials said the baths in Trump / Kushner homes were declared banned for the people who protect them from the beginning. One employee did not know the reason for this restriction, while the other said it was instigated by the couple. Both spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the president’s family’s security measures.
White House spokesman Judd Deere has denied that Trump and Kushner once wanted intelligence details not to use the bathrooms in their home.
“When discussions were initially held in 2017 about protecting their home, Ivanka and Jared made it clear that their home would always be open to amazing men and women on their details. Only after the decision of [Secret Service] it is made that their details are looking for other accommodation, “Deere wrote in an email. “The furriers have great respect for the military and women for their details and for the United States Secret Service in general. Their home will always be open to them and they are very grateful for their service over the last four years. “
The gate pot was the agency’s initial solution to the security detail dilemma, but was removed in the face of neighborhood protests. Then, according to law enforcement officers, agents began using a bathroom in a garage at Obama’s house, which the former president’s security features had turned into a command post.
The Obams did not use the garage, so the extra traffic to and from the command post was no problem. However, this decision was also short-lived, after the Secret Service overseer of the Trump / Kushner detail left an unpleasant mess in Obama’s bathroom at some point before the fall of 2017, according to a person informed about the event. That prompted Obama leaders have banned street agents from ever returning.
Agents assigned to the president’s daughter and son-in-law began driving a mile to Pence’s home at the Naval Observatory, where they were allowed to use a self-guarding bathroom. If they did not have time for this trip, law enforcement officials said, they relied on the hospitality of nearby restaurants.
So when the Secret Service knocked on Kay Kendall’s door in September 2017, she wasn’t surprised to find out why.
“I think it was very clear that they just needed a place to shower, rest, use the facilities, have lunch,” said Kendall, who is chair of DC’s Arts and Humanities Commission and married Jack Davis, founder. of AOL International. “I’m glad I could help them.”
In addition to the Kalorama house where he lives, Kendall owns a home across from Trump and Kushner. This house has a basement, including a bathroom, which is accessible from the back. She considered separating the space and released the idea from the house’s tenant, former Connecticut congressman Anthony “Toby” Moffett Jr.
“I told her, ‘It’s okay if you cut the rent,'” Moffett recalled.
Records from the General Services Administration show that the 820-square-foot basement rental at Tracy Place NW begins on September 27, 2017. It is due to expire on September 26 this year, at which point the federal government will pay a total of $ 144,000 for the space. .
Secret service agents are usually looking for a low-profile location for their command post and toilet, said Steve Atkis, who was a special operations assistant to former President George W. Bush and chief of staff for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. For example, former White House chief of staff Andy Card placed a trailer for his security details at the end of his block in Virginia, Atkis recalled. A building specifically for the security details of two former presidents has been built at the Bush family’s complex in Kennebunkport, Maine, he said.
“I’ve seen him achieve 1,000 different ways,” Atkis said. “They don’t want to be in their personal space.”
In Calorama, Kushner / Trump agents are happy with their new excavations, law enforcement officials said. The studio had plenty of natural light. Some think it’s like a well-shod lawyer. Most importantly, it opens in a tidy bathroom.
“It’s not a big deal,” Moffett said. “They were very kind to our grandchildren.”
The secret services have repeatedly made significant expenditures to protect President Trump’s children. In October, The Post reported that Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr. had enriched their family’s business as Trump charged the federal government at least $ 238,000 in agent accommodation when the trio and their families visited properties. of Trump. Trump says he has lost billions of dollars as president instead of running the business his sons have run for the past four years.
Deere declined to comment on how long Trump and Kushner plan to stay in Calorama after President Trump leaves office next week.
Some neighbors are looking forward to their release.
“I want to get my nice, quiet neighborhood back,” said Marty Robinson, a court lawyer who lives across the street and was a member of Obama appointed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
On a recent Tuesday, there seemed to be some silence. There was no sign of activity at the Kushner residence, with its gray exterior shutters and white brick walls. Black SUVs were parked in front.
The door of one of these jeeps opened, revealing what was currently the only sign of life on the street: A man wearing a dark suit, a badge, and a purple tie. He walked purposefully across the street, his arms straight to the side, and disappeared behind the house whose basement is being rented by the US government. Five minutes later, he reappeared, crossed the street, and got back in his car.
David A. Fahrenhold contributed to this report.