Bodyguards, and Not All of Them With the Secret Service

In Governing and the Cabinet On

WASHINGTON — In a city obsessed with the trappings of power, they are the ultimate status symbol: the wire-wearing, black S.U.V.-driving protective crews that come with high-level government service.

So when it came to light last week that the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, had ordered the United States Marshals Service to extend a full protective detail to Betsy DeVos, the education secretary, for as much as $1 million a month, many people began to wonder about the protective pecking order in the Trump era.

The answer, given the nature of the job, is difficult to know. Security forces are loath to discuss much about who they protect or what it costs, for fear, they say, of compromising their mission.

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