President Barack Obama’s senior adviser, Valerie Jarrett, has Secret Service protection – but some colleagues inside the White House are skeptical that it’s necessary.
Jarrett and former senior adviser David Axelrod were assigned government drivers, according to a 2010 report by the Daily Caller. Jarrett also had been made a “protectee” of the Secret Service at that time, though it’s not certain if there were specific threats to her safety, the Caller reported.
Now a Washington spectator is shedding new light on the questions over Jarrett’s protection.
“While a high-profile White House official — especially an African-American woman, such as Jarrett — could legitimately be considered a more likely target than most, several West Wing officials I spoke to were dubious there had been any special threats against her,” author Mark Leibovich wrote in his new book about Washington politics, “This Town.”
“They suspected that Jarrett asked the president to authorize a detail out of ‘earpiece envy.’”
The Daily Caller filed a Freedom of Information Act request in April 2012, asking the Department of Homeland Security for documents detailing the cost of Jarrett’s protection. The Daily Caller has reported that the request remains unfulfilled.
It seems Jarrett finds questions about her protection “ridiculous and offensive,” Leibovich wrote saying she declined to speak with him on the topic.
In a video shot by Washington Times reporter Kerry Picket, Jarrett refused to answer questions about her Secret Service detail, or the decision to terminate 20,000 non-union workers during the auto industry bailout, according to the Daily Caller.
Watch the August 2012 video here: