Fact Check

Did the Secret Service Add an 'Emotional Protection Division' for President Trump?

An article reporting that the Secret Service has added a new unit to coddle the president's feelings is satire.

Published Feb 9, 2017

 (a katz / Shutterstock, Inc.)
Image Via a katz / Shutterstock, Inc.
The Secret Service has launched an "emotional protection" unit for President Trump.

On 8 February 2017, the satirical web site The Onion published a story poking fun at the temperament of President Donald Trump under the headline "Secret Service Adds Emotional Protection Division To Safeguard Trump’s Psyche":

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.”

The article went on to say that visitors to the White House would be screened for "risks" such as A-list celebrities who refuse to pose for photo-ops with President Trump, and agents would "sweep any room before he enters to remove high-risk copies of The New York Times and The Washington Post."

The Onion is a purely satirical web site, although it's particularly famous for riffing on topics in the daily news cycle. While its stories often include real public figures and some aspects of fact, it should not be considered a news outlet despite its humorous self-description as "America's finest news source."

Bethania Palma is a journalist from the Los Angeles area who has been working in the news industry since 2006.

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