U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is urging action from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in providing long-requested Secret Service protection for presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The Texas Republican fired off a letter this week demanding a response after Kennedy’s requests for protection had been denied. After the fates of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy, and father, Sen. Robert Kennedy, the 2024 presidential candidate has asked the Biden administration for protection by the Secret Service, which normally has the authority to do so within 120 days of a general presidential election.
I’m calling on DHS Secretary Mayorkas to provide answers on why RFK Jr has been denied Secret Service protections.
Major presidential candidates such as Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, then-Senator Barack Obama, and Senator Ted Kennedy received protection well before a general…
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) October 18, 2023
“On July 21, 2023, you made the executive decision to deny Secret Service protection to Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr. after eighty-eight days of failing to respond to his either formal request for protection, or follow-ups by his campaign,” Cruz began in his letter to Mayorkas.
“This delay represents a stark departure from the standard fourteen day turnaround for this type of request. Since your decision to refuse Mr. Kennedy protection and determining ‘it [was] not warranted,’ an armed man was arrested at one of his campaign events in Los Angeles,” Cruz continued, referring to the incident last month in which an armed man impersonating a U.S. marshal was arrested.
In July, Kennedy revealed in a tweet that his request from DHS for Secret Service protection had been denied, recalling his father’s assassination in 1968.
Since the assassination of my father in 1968, candidates for president are provided Secret Service protection. But not me.
Typical turnaround time for pro forma protection requests from presidential candidates is 14-days. After 88-days of no response and after several…
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) July 28, 2023
With the arrest of the man at the campaign event, Cruz contended that it was clear Kennedy should be afforded the protection.
“This near assassination attempt hardly came as a surprise given that Mr. Kennedy’s original request for Secret Service protection included a sixty-seven page report from a leading private security firm detailing a myriad of unique and well-established safety risks,” Cruz wrote.
“Two weeks after this incident, on September 29, 2023, Judicial Watch, a government accountability nonprofit organization, received eleven pages of Secret Service records detailing Mr. Kennedy’s protection request denial,” the senator continued, noting how Kennedy “received numerous credible threats” and that “he is at an elevated ‘risk for adverse attention.'”
“In light of your exceptionally delayed action and inexplicable refusal to provide security for this presidential candidate despite the extraordinary threats he is receiving, I demand answers to the following questions by October 31, 2023,” Cruz wrote, laying out a series of questions.
“Why did it take eighty-eight days to respond to Mr. Kennedy’s formal request for Secret Service protection, especially when the typical turnaround time is fourteen days?” he asked,
The Texas lawmaker also demanded to know why other major presidential candidates – such as Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, and then-Senator Barack Obama – received protections earlier than the 120-day mark, “setting a clear precedent for exceptions to the general rule.”
“I ask that you act swiftly to provide this major presidential candidate the protection that his exceptional circumstance so clearly warrant,” Cruz concluded in the letter.