The Secret Service was forced to foil repeated assassination attempts on Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during this year’s election campaign, it has been claimed.
An article in GQ made the startling assertion that “several assassination plots were nipped in the bud” by agents during the course of the campaign.
However, some are now skeptical about the claims, insisting that there were no more than a handful of attempts on the lives of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney this year.
Barack Obama, who has long been considered at risk from violent extremism partly because of his historic status as America’s first black President, is protected by a vast Secret Service detail at all times.
Mitt Romney was given official protection in January, as he was beginning to close in on the position of Republican presidential nominee.
His Secret Service detail was withdrawn early on Wednesday morning, just hours after he conceded defeat to Barack Obama.
The moment Mitt Romney’s agents left his side was detailed by GQ‘s Marc Ambinder, who reported that they were called off with the order: “Javelin, Jockey details, all posts, discontinue.”
He also dropped in the tantalizing tidbit: “Protectees were protected 100 per cent of the time. Several assassination plots were nipped in the bud.”
Over the past year, a number of people were reported to have been investigated by the Secret Service for issuing threats to either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney.
While most of these threats turned out to be little more than ill-advised tweets born from frustration, a few warranted a more robust response.
Most notably, a group of four soldiers from Georgia hatched a convoluted plot to kill the President and overthrow the federal government.
However, Marc Ambinder’s comments led some to assume that he had information about other threats which were not already public knowledge.
He told Politicker: “There was that guy who shot at the White House from across the ellipse, and then the soldiers arrested for plotting the assassination of the president and others.”
But he added that he did not possess any inside information, defending his description of the multiple foiled threats.
Marc Ambinder later tweeted: “Press folks, please stop bothering the Secret Service. If there are/were other plots, they sure as hell didn’t tell me about them.”