Secret Service agents assigned to protect Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were denied access to bathrooms in the couple’s house and had to rent a nearby basement for $3,000 a month simply to use the toilet, a surreal report by The Washington Post revealed on Thursday.
Trump and Kushner’s six-bedroom, 5,000-square-foot home is located in Washington, D.C.’s Kalorama neighborhood — where the Obamas and other elite political figures reside — and contains six bathrooms that were off-limits to the Secret Service detail assigned to protect the pair.
According to the report, which cited neighbors and local law enforcement officials, agents were forced to resort to unorthodox measures simply to relieve themselves. They frequented nearby businesses, drove to Vice President Mike Pence’s home at D.C.’s Naval Observatory and used a bathroom in the Obamas’ nearby garage that had been converted into a Secret Service command area.
Eventually, after a member of the team protecting Trump and Ivanka left an “unpleasant mess” in the Obama bathroom, they were banned from the garage.
A White House spokesperson told The Washington Post that it was the Secret Service’s decision — not Trump and Kushner’s — to keep agents out of the home. But, the outlet reported, “that account is disputed by a law enforcement official familiar with the situation, who said the agents were kept out at the family’s request.”
In a statement sent to CNN and The Washington Post after the story was published, a Secret Service spokesperson also highlighted that the couple did not deny the agents access to a bathroom.
“The Secret Service makes every effort, particularly at a residence, to conduct protective operations with minimum impact on a household. In accordance with this practice, Secret Service personnel do not request access to the facilities at private residences. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner have not denied Secret Service personnel access to their home to include use of the restroom,” the spokesperson said.
White House spokesman Judd Deere also told The Washington Post that “it was only after a decision by the [Secret Service] was made that their detail sought other accommodations.”
These alternate accommodations were found after a port-a-potty set up for the agents drew protests from Kalorama residents in 2017. From Sept. 27, 2017, onwards, they rented an 820-square-foot basement with a “tidy bathroom” from Kay Kendall, chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. At $3,000 a month in rent, the basement has cost $144,000 in taxpayer dollars thus far.
A number of voices across social media chimed in on the remarkable nature of the Post’s story — with several citing the similarities to the plot of the 2009 novel and 2011 film “The Help,” where a maid in Jackson, Mississippi, is fired for using the bathroom of her employers.
Read The Washington Post’s full report here.