Wednesday, June 23, 2021

the last book I ever read (Carol Leonnig's Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, excerpt seventeen)

from Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service by Carol Leonnig:

Director Sullivan had survived some headline-grabbing screw-ups before. Whenever he’d found himself under the gun in the past, he’d turn on his guileless “aw shucks” charm. His manner telegraphed trustworthiness rather than cover-up. Like some previous directors, he was also pretty good at stroking politicians’ egos.

After an uninvited couple sneaked past the Secret Service into a 2009 White House dinner—and shook hands with President Obama—Sullivan made a series of supplicant visits to lawmakers’ offices to brief them personally. He shared the details of his team’s findings on how proctocol broke down at a White House entry checkpoint. Lawmakers then went on television to show how important and “in the know” they were, telling viewers of the one-on-one download they’d received from the director. Congressional staffers dubbed his rounds on Capitol Hill “the Mark Sullivan self-preservation tour.”

Though the public had no idea, Sullivan had also survived the First Lady’s anger in 2011 over the agency’s botched handling of the November shooting at the White House. Sullivan had promised Michelle Obama that nothing like that would ever happen again.

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