Secret Service Denies RFK Jr.’s Request for Protection for the Third Time

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has accused the Department of Homeland Security of playing politics after the agency rejected his request for Secret Service protection for the third time. Kennedy, the son of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, called the move “weaponization of government” and said it hinders candidates looking to challenge President Joe Biden.

Since announcing his candidacy in April, two armed men have been arrested in separate incidents while trying to gain access to Kennedy. In a statement, Kennedy expressed frustration at not being afforded Secret Service protection, stating that it’s not just about him but also an example of political maneuvering to hinder challengers to Biden’s presidency. Kennedy said, “They know that 30 cents of every campaign dollar goes to keeping me safe.”

The Department of Homeland Security offered no explanation for denying protection. Although Kennedy is polling at 22 percent, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas denied his application based on a recommendation from an advisory committee which is not accountable to the incumbent president.

Undeterred by the DHS decision, Kennedy, who originally announced his candidacy as a Democrat before switching to an Independent status in October, has continued to campaign, channeling millions of dollars into private security. He criticized the denial of Secret Service protection as political and cited it as part of a pattern of federal entities being weaponized to serve political interests.

The Biden administration’s refusal is at odds with the practices of previous administrations, Kennedy’s private security firm, Gavin de Becker and Associates, conveyed in a 67-page report claims unique and well-established security and safety risks. They also underscored that presidential candidates have traditionally been provided with Secret Service protection well before the 120-day threshold leading up to the election, with examples going back to the administration of Jimmy Carter.

The road has been a challenging one for Kennedy. In September, an armed man impersonating a U.S. Marshal was arrested outside a campaign event in Los Angeles. A month later, another armed man was arrested for twice attempting to break into Kennedy’s house in Los Angeles.

Support for Kennedy’s need for protection has been issued from both sides of the aisle, with Senator Ted Cruz calling out the Homeland Security Secretary for the agency’s refusal to protect Kennedy, particularly in light of the Los Angeles incidents. As Kennedy continues to campaign, he’s traveling around the country, attending private fundraising events and public voter rallies, collecting signatures to be placed on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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