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Bidens’ Dog, Commander, Bit Secret Service Personnel in at Least 24 Incidents, Records Show


President Biden’s now-banished German shepherd Commander inflicted more damage with bite incidents than previously known.

via: CNN

That number does not include additional incidents CNN has previously reported involving executive residence staff and other White House workers. But the new documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal the extent to which the situation had become a serious workplace issue for the hundreds of staff supporting White House operations, and how agency personnel changed their habits to avoid being injured by the German shepherd.

“The recent dog bites have challenged us to adjust our operational tactics when Commander is present – please give lots of room,” an unnamed assistant special agent in charge of USSS’ Presidential Protective Division wrote to their team in a June 2023 email, warning that agents “must be creative to ensure our own personal safety.”

That warning came months before the dog was removed from the White House, with multiple biting incidents taking place in the interim.

CNN has reviewed more than 400 pages of documents, many of which were heavily redacted to protect USSS personnel anonymity and operational details.

In October 2022, an unnamed Secret Service technician described an incident and said they were “worried about the family pets behavior escalating and that … something worse was going to happen to others.”

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The documented incidents included members of the Secret Service’s uniformed division, members of the president’s protective detail and other USSS officials. They took place inside and outside of the White House residence, but also at Biden family homes in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, at Camp David, and in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where the first family spends the Thanksgiving holiday.

A source close to the Biden family told CNN that the Biden family feels “awful” and has been “heartbroken” over the spate of biting incidents.

“They’ve been heartbroken over this. They’ve apologized to those who have been bitten, taken flowers to some. They feel awful. Commander was over-protective, and even though they tried and tried to work on it, they had to let him go live with other members of their family,” the source said.

The family repeatedly tried to get a handle on the situation, which began in October 2022 with incidents spanning a full year. Commander Biden joined the family as a puppy in December 2021.

“The president and first lady care deeply about the safety of those who work at the White House and those who protect them every day. Despite additional dog training, leashing, working with veterinarians, and consulting with animal behaviorists, the White House environment simply proved too much for Commander. Since the fall, he has lived with other family members,” Elizabeth Alexander, first lady Jill Biden’s communications director, said in a statement provided to CNN.

“The incidents involving Commander were treated as workplace injuries, with events documented in accordance with Secret Service and US Department of Homeland Security guidelines,” Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesperson for USSS, told CNN in a statement Wednesday.

“While Secret Service personnel neither handle nor care for the first family’s pets, we work continuously with all applicable entities in order to minimize any adverse impacts from family pets,” he said.

The documents, which were obtained independently by CNN, were first published by John Greenewald.



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