On social media Friday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said that despite his father's assassination in 1968 leading to the Secret Service protecting presidential candidates, that agency denied him that very protection.
"Since the assassination of my father in 1968, candidates for president are provided Secret Service protection. But not me," Kennedy wrote on X (formerly Twitter) Friday. "Typical turnaround time for pro forma protection requests from presidential candidates is 14-days. After 88-days of no response and after several follow-ups by our campaign, the Biden Administration just denied our request."
"I have determined that Secret Service protection for Robert F Kennedy Jr is not warranted at this time," Kennedy reported Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas saying.
"Our campaign's request included a 67-page report from the world's leading protection firm, detailing unique and well-established security and safety risks aside from commonplace death threats," Kennedy said in the post.
Kenndy's father, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., was shot to death while campaigning in California in June 1968, just five years after his uncle, President John F. Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas, Texas, in November 1963.
According to the agency, "The Secret Service is authorized by law (18 United States Code § 3056) to protect: Major presidential and vice-presidential candidates and their spouses within 120 days of a general presidential election. As defined in the statute, the term 'major presidential and vice-presidential candidates' means those individuals identified as such by the Secretary of Homeland Security after consultation with an advisory committee."
NBC News reported Friday that despite the assassination of RFK Jr.'s father being the catalyst for the law, enacted the year he was killed, Mayorkas has "wide latitude" in determining if, and when, such protection is offered to candidates.
The report said DHS consults with an advisory committee of high-level government officials including the four top congressional leaders.
In addition, the report said the agency takes other factors into account, like reaching a polling threshold and a "specific assessment of threats" made against the candidate.
Kennedy is running against President Joe Biden for the Democratic Party nomination along with author Marianne Williamson.
The political polling website FiveThirtyEight currently has Biden with 65.1% of the vote and Kennedy running second at 14.9%.
According to the NBC report, Biden said in 2020 that the agency should protect major candidates earlier in the electoral process.
Former President Donald Trump was given protection a full year before the 2016 election with then-Republican candidate Ben Carson, both issued Secret Service details before the Iowa caucuses, the report said.
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