Michelle Obama Visits Secret Service Headquarters


First lady Michelle Obama made a rare trip to Secret Service headquarters Wednesday, where she glimpsed the intricate work that goes into protecting her family — and the potential danger of that mission.

After an hourlong tour of the agency’s protective intelligence division and the joint operations center, Obama called the daily tasks performed by the Secret Service “pretty scary.”

“All I can say is, after my little tour, is ignorance is bliss,” Obama told a packed crowd of Secret Service employees who had gathered in a conference room to hear her speak.

“I just — I just don’t want to know,” the first lady continued to laughter. “You all can handle that. Just tell me when — where to run.”

Obama — who has spoken in interviews about the constraints of living inside the presidential bubble and the loss of privacy that comes with being watched every moment — said the Secret Service agents at the White House have become like family over the past two-and-a-half years.

In fact, she said, the first family has grown so close to the agents around the house that they will sometimes have little spats about who gets which Secret Service agent on various outings.

Obama said her youngest daughter, Sasha, will tell her sister Malia, “You took Scott!” And sometimes Malia, who apparently has grown close to the same agent, will say “You took Scott? That’s not fair!”

The first lady said she can relate to that sentiment. “I’ll say the same thing to Barack — it’s like, ‘Why do you get Beth?’” she said, adding, “It’s dinner table conversation.”

More seriously, Obama lauded the agency’s employees for their work, adding that she and the president believe the Secret Service “is always 100 percent on point, truly.”

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