US Secret Service Director James Murray announced his retirement on Thursday, leaving the White House for Silicon Valley. After 27 years in government service, including the last three protecting two US presidents, Murray will take over as head of security at Snapchat’s parent company in early August.
Murray “embodies the sense of service to self and has protected the families of American presidents as if they were part of his own. We are incredibly grateful for his service to our country and our family,” President Joe Biden and his wife Jill said in a statement commenting on his departure.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he “benefited enormously” to have Murray as “a trusted advisor and a highly valued leader” at DHS, which has overseen the Secret Service since 2003.
Murray took over the Secret Service in May 2019, under President Donald Trump. During his three years at the helm, Murray “contributed significantly to the continued professionalization and growth of the agency, and helped the agency meet the unique challenges presented by the historic [Covid]-19 pandemic”, the Secret Service said in a statement.
Snap said the company was “thrilled” to have Murray as its chief security officer. When he takes up his new role on August 1, he will be responsible for the safety of the company’s 5,000 employees worldwide and will report directly to co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel.
Murray joined the Secret Service in 1995 as a financial investigator, but was transferred to the Presidential Protection Branch in 2001. He was offered the job in April, but opted to wait until July not to be a “distraction from the President’s NATO Summit, the Americas Summit in Los Angeles and the G7 Summit”, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi told the Daily Mail. He also wanted to wait until he could present the agency’s budget request to Congress, Guglielmi added.
The Secret Service was recently embroiled in the controversy surrounding the 2021 riot at the United States Capitol. During a televised hearing before the House committee on January 6 in late June, Cassidy Hutchinson, assistant to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, claimed that Trump attacked his security chief Bobby Engel after he refused to tell him. drive to the Capitol that day. . Hutchinson said she heard the story from deputy chief of staff Tony Ornato and Engel did not dispute it at the time.
However, the Secret Service said Hutchinson’s claim was not true and that Engel and Trump’s driver were prepared to testify under oath to that effect.
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