The Secret Service is facing scrutiny over its response to an armed protester who was spotted near President Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware home carrying a sign reading, in part, “Bidens are criminals.”
The lone man, dressed in a neon yellow and orange safety vest and khaki cargo shorts, was seen on Sunday afternoon calmly walking down the road toward the president’s home with what appeared to be a holstered gun on his hip.
One side of his sign read, “Bidens are criminals, 20 shell companies?! Where’s the laptop? 10% for the big guy.” On the other side of the sign were the words, “Joe has aliases?! Robert L. Peters, Robin Ware, JRN Ware.”
Caught on camera: ARMED protester outside POTUS residence in Wilmington. pic.twitter.com/5AXOn9Uf9q
— Tommy moderna-vaX-Topher (@tommyxtopher) September 17, 2023
According to the pool report, a Secret Service vehicle followed the protester down the road, Newsweek reports.
Reporters said they “could see the protester down the road and the [president’s] motorcade passed right by him” in a second pool report from 1:20 p.m.
“The individual expressing his constitutional rights had no impact on any of the Secret Service’s protectees’ movements,” said U.S. Secret Service spokesperson Steve Kopek.
Delaware is an open carry state but, on X, the peaceful protester’s proximity to the president made them nervous.
“Doesn’t matter,” wrote one user. “Since when did the US Secret Service demure to allow armed persons near the president’s home. Everywhere the president is / is under control of Federal government so that open carry is meaningless. He is the number one federal protected.”
Doesn’t matter since when did the US Secret Service demure to allow armed persons near the president’s home. Everywhere the president is / is under control of Federal government so that open carry is meaningless. He is the number one federal protectee.
— Mary Miller (@eaglzfan1967) September 17, 2023
An armed man approached President Biden’s home, and this is how Secret Service responded. Just… wow. https://t.co/ssapy0MUsp
A reminder that as recently as this year, there have been reports that Biden doesn’t trust his Secret Service detail. Not hard to see why… pic.twitter.com/7H4x59XuNl
— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) September 17, 2023
Others went full-panic porn and determined that the legally holstered gun made the protester a “terrorist.”
“Armed protester” you mean terrorist?
— ACO (@nintyfan1991) September 17, 2023
AN ARMED PROTESTOR IS A TERRORIST!
— ONGOING SLAUGHTER (@PublicOutcrySy) September 17, 2023
This country has an abundance of lunatics.
— gene2459 (@Gene2459Eugene) September 17, 2023
And still others managed to find a way to blame Donald Trump.
Trump will keep up his hateful rhetoric until the secret service has to shoot a MAGAt – again.
— Kat K (@HIHKatharine) September 17, 2023
The incident comes just days after an armed man who was allegedly impersonating a U.S. Marshal attempted to approach Democratic presidential candidate Robert Kennedy Jr. at a Los Angeles campaign event.
On Friday, Kennedy’s private security detail detained the man at the candidate’s Hispanic Heritage speech at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, BizPac Review reported.
LAPD officers arrived quickly on the scene and placed the man under arrest.
— BPR based (@DumpstrFireNews) September 16, 2023
Kennedy addressed the incident on X, expressing his gratitude for the “alert and fast-acting protectors from Gavin de Becker and Associates (GDBA)” and the “rapid response” of the LAPD.
Kennedy, whose father, Robert Kennedy Sr., was famously assassinated in California in 1968, was denied his request for Secret Service protection by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas in late July.
The protection has been extended to presidential candidates since his father’s death.
“I’m still entertaining a hope that President Biden will allow me Secret Service protection,” Kennedy wrote on X following the armed suspect’s arrest. “I am the first presidential candidate in history to whom the White House has denied a request for protection.”
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