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VP Harris Involved In Vehicle Accident But Secret Service Left Out Key Detail: Report

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Vice President Kamala Harris’ motorcade was involved in a one-car accident earlier this week as she was being brought to work Monday morning on a roadway in Washington, D.C., that was closed. The incident alarmed the director of the Secret Service and the vice president herself and “revived worries about the agency’s history of concealing its mistakes,” according to two people who spoke to the Washington Post.

The outlet reported that the agent who was driving the vehicle Harris was traveling in — an SUV — hit the curb of a downtown tunnel so hard that the tire on the vehicle had to be replaced. The Post added that the incident brought the motorcade to a halt near Foggy Bottom at around 10:20 a.m., people familiar with the accident said. They spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity.

“Harris had to be transferred to another vehicle in the motorcade so agents could safely spirit her to the White House,” the Post added. “The routine nature of the travel and the high level of training required for agents who drive the president and vice president led many in the Secret Service, as well as Harris, to question how such an accident could happen.”

The Post noted further:

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The Secret Service also failed to note key details of the incident in an electronic message formally alerting senior leadership to the motorcade’s delay. The agency’s protective intelligence division reported that “a mechanical failure” in the lead car had forced agents to transfer Harris to another vehicle during a scheduled movement to the White House, according to details of the alert shared with The Washington Post.

By Monday afternoon, Secret Service Director Kim Cheatle received information from other agents that the alert did not accurately convey what happened, one of the people said. In fact, many other Secret Service agents on Harris’s detail and at the White House, as well as Harris, knew her driver had actually hit the side pavement of a tunnel.

As for Harris, a spokeswoman said that she is always grateful for the protection provided to her by the Secret Service. “The Vice President sustained no injuries and appreciates the quick response by her USSS detail to get her to the White House safely,” Kirsten Allen said in an emailed statement to the Post.

A spokesman for the agency, Anthony Guglielmi, also said that Harris was not harmed in any way and that the agent driving her merely overcorrected while steering. He added that Harris made it safely to the White House and that agents did not fully inform superiors what had happened in the alert but told them in person later after the VP arrived at the White House.

“During a protective movement Monday, a vehicle in a motorcade had a minor overcorrection and struck a curb,” he said. “The protectee was transferred to a secondary vehicle, and the motorcade continued to its destination. There were no injuries to anyone.”

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“Initial radio traffic indicated this was a mechanical failure, and that was communicated to agency leadership by personnel supporting the motorcade movement,” Guglielmi noted. “After the protective movement was completed, leadership was verbally updated with additional pertinent facts that the vehicle struck a curb.”

Harris made headlines last week when she appeared to suggest that disaster assistance from Hurricane Ian go first to “communities of color” to ensure “equity.” And this week, she refused to clarify them when she was asked about them at a swanky event she attended.

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Harris’ remarks came during a back-and-forth talk with leftist Priyanka Chopra during a women’s leadership forum in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Democratic National Committee last week after the hurricane made landfall in Florida and left devastation and death in its wake.

“It is our lowest income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making,” claimed the vice president. “And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity, understanding not everyone starts out at the same place.

“And if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities and do that work,” Harris added.

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