"Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) may be the presumptive GOP nominee for president, but, by his own wishes, he is not being protected by the Secret Service." The Hill reports.
"He has not requested protection," Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan told a congressional subcommittee this morning. "We have no involvement at this point."
In opting not to take the protection, McCain is following through on plans he outlined to reporters late last year on his Straight Talk Express campaign bus.
Members of the House Appropriations Homeland Security subcommittee were surprised by Sullivan's revelation. Sullivan said his agency had been in contact with McCain's staff. But a candidate has no legal requirement to take protection.
Last November, McCain told reporters he felt such protection was an "inconvenience" and too expensive for tax payers:
"It's my intention, if we win this nomination, to reject Secret Service," he said during one of his many conversations with reporters on his Straight Talk Express this weekend. "Why do I need it?"
He adds: "The day that the Secret Service can assure me that if we're driving in the motorcade and there's a guy in a rooftop with a rifle, that they can stop that guy, then I'll say fine. But the day they tell me, 'well, we can't guarantee it,' then fine, I'll take my chances."
McCain rejected Secret Service protection in 2000, after winning the New Hampshire primary. But he wants to go further, rejecting the massive security apparatus should he become president.
"It's the inconvenience," McCain said. "It's the inconvenience it causes people. It's a waste of the taxpayers money. It's just everything I don't like."