Thu, 09 Feb 2017 19:05 UTC
The new unit's three dozen agents, who have undergone rigorous training to prepare for their challenging role, will be charged with defending the 45th president's psychological well-being around the clock, investigating foreign and domestic threats to his self-esteem and quickly intercepting any spoken or written criticisms before they can harm his pride.
"After conducting a full review of the operational procedures available to us, it became clear that adding this new division was the only way to meet President Trump's emotional security needs," said Secret Service director Joseph Clancy, noting that the president's detail is specially trained in assessing risks and minimizing any opportunity for him to feel insecure or belittled. "His psyche could be put in grave danger from unfavorable poll numbers or suddenly come under attack from a White House press corps heavily armed with uncomfortable questions."
"All of our agents stand ready to lay down their lives to ensure nothing can hurt President Trump's feelings," he added.
According to officials, the Secret Service is reportedly conducting careful background checks on White House visitors to look for any red flags, such as A-list celebrities who might choose to decline a photo op with Trump. The department has also instituted measures to screen the president's mail for messages that do not reinforce his belief in his own superiority, and to sweep any room before he enters to remove high-risk copies of The New York Times and The Washington Post.
High-ranking agency sources told reporters that their tireless efforts have already made the president's psyche significantly more secure. In particular, they cited occasions in which agents have shielded Trump against credible attempts on his vanity, saying they have kept him away from photographs on the internet in which he appears in an unflattering light and from news reports indicating that some television programs have garnered higher ratings simply by mocking him.
"We've already had one really close call," said Clancy, citing an incident in which a member of the Secret Service jumped directly in front of Trump to prevent him from seeing primetime news coverage of massive rallies held to protest his administration. "But the moment we detected a risk, a few brave agents rushed in to surround the president and place their hands over his ears, safely ushering him into his motorcade before he could hear more than a few words of criticism."
"The president was then immediately taken to a secure location where he was evaluated for any injury to his self-importance," Clancy continued.
While acknowledging the assignment's significance, several agents bemoaned the difficulty of keeping a vigilant eye upon the constantly evolving risks to Trump's feelings, observing that whenever the president travels, the Secret Service must vet his destination days or even weeks in advance to ensure it is free of anything that could pose any risk of offense.
"It's incredibly demanding work because his ego is such a big target," said Roger Mercer, 36, an agent in the Emotional Protection Division. "There are new threats emerging every hour, and if even one of them gets through to him—really gets through to him—it's all over."
"I can already tell the next four years are going to be the hardest of my career," he added.