Newly-released documents reveal widespread discontent among the United States Secret Service after the Biden Administration repeatedly tried to suppress and downplay multiple instances of agents being bitten by Joe Biden’s dog, Major.
The New York Post reports that federal documents, released via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the watchdog group Judicial Watch, reveal that attacks against agents by the dog took place on eight consecutive days, both earlier and later than originally reported by the press. Despite numerous complaints from agents, Secret Service leadership actively covered up most of the details of each incident, including outright rejecting one agent’s “excessively detailed” report, in order to avoid upsetting the Biden family.
Previously, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged only one biting incident that took place on March 8th, 2021, claiming that “the first family’s younger dog, Major, was surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual.” In actuality, this incident was the final attack in the dog’s eight-day streak.
The agent who was attacked that day, upon hearing Psaki’s comments at a press briefing one day after the attack, angrily wrote to a coworker: “NO I didn’t surprise the dog doing my job by being at [redacted] as the press secretary just said! Now I’m pissed.” Additionally, the agent’s injuries were described as “severe” by another coworker, in contrast to Psaki’s “minor injury” remarks.
The first coworker responded to the message with “SMH. .. hope you didn’t get hurt to [sic] bad.” Another Secret Service employee sent a message around the same time referring to photos of the injury, remarking that the wounds “cannot be described in any other term than ‘severe’.”
According to declassified information, the final bite incident took place at about 7:00 AM on the second floor of the White House’s residential area, where the agent was with First Lady Jill Biden. The new documents reveal that in the incident, “without warning or provocation, Major barked loudly at [the agent] … and charged. Having no time to seek cover from the attack, [the agent] turned away from the dog as he bit into [redacted] right leg.”
Although photos of the actual injury were not included in the new documents, one photo showed another agent’s wool overcoat that was damaged by a previous attack from Major on March 6th, with a clear puncture hole. The agent in question described this incident in a first-hand account two months later, as he was seeking reimbursement for the damaged clothing.
“As Major came around the corner, he attacked me unprovoked, tearing the wool overcoat I was wearing that evening,” the agent recalled. “This attack occurred through no fault of my own and I could not avoid this unusual circumstance due to the nature and requirements of my position.”
The response from the agent’s superiors scolded the agent for providing such crucial details about the attack, threatening to withhold reimbursement unless he resubmitted a less-detailed version for the official report.
“Please submit with the language that has been approved by [the legal office]. Unless you dispute anything in the verbiage that was presented to you, there shouldn’t be a need to embellish with additional details that aren’t required for approval,” the response read. “If you would like to submit a separate memo to- memorializing the events of 3/6 in great detail, you certainly may. But your added language on the [form] provides more specificity than what [the legal office] requested. I have been told that if you update the [request] with the approved verbiage, your request will be processed.”
Despite the initial downplaying of the biting incidents, Major was eventually sent away from the White House in December to live with family friends in Delaware. Major was then replaced by another dog, a puppy named Commander.