The U.S. Secret Service took aim at the New York Times on Friday for a piece of short fiction the newspaper published.
An agency spokesperson said the piece, about a Russian assassin who uses a gun provided by a Secret Service agent to kill President Trump, was “outrageous” to suggest the agency would be involved in an assassination plot.
“While we understand this is a work of fiction, the insinuation that the U.S. Secret Service would participate in the assassination of a president is outrageous and an insult to the men and women of this agency,” a Secret Service spokesperson said, according to Fox News.
“The U.S. Secret Service prides itself on being an apolitical agency with a long and distinguished history of protecting our nation’s elected officials.”
The work of fiction was published on Tuesday as part of the Times Book Review section where writers were asked to explore potential “outcomes” of special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing Russia probe examining Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.
The story details that a Secret Service agents provides the Russian assassin with his own gun to kill Trump, after the Russian’s weapon misfires.
"It's very clear what this is: a work of fiction, commissioned by editors of the Book Review as part of a package of five stories penned by a range of spy and crime novelists — in the Halloween edition,” a Times spokesperson said, per Fox News.
Meanwhile, the White House has condemned the piece, and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders characterized it as “absolutely abhorrent and disgraceful."