The U.S. Secret Service slammed The New York Times on Friday for a fictional account of President Trump being gunned down by a Russian assassin with a Glock belonging to his own security detail, in a short story dubbed “assassination fantasy” by critics.
“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. 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,” a Secret Service spokesperson told Fox News.
The Times Book Review section published a series of short stories Tuesday that dreamed up possible outcomes of the Robert Mueller probe and explored Trump’s relationship with Russia.
One of the stories on the Times' online Book Review page -- to be published in Sunday's print edition -- is titled, “How it Ends,” by Zoe Sharp – a chilling story about a drunken Russian’s plot to murder the president with a Makarov pistol. Sharp’s particular story doesn’t mention Trump by name, but it’s no secret as the collection of stories is headlined, “Five novelists imagine Trump’s next chapter.”
“The Russian waited until they were a few steps past before he drew the gun. He sighted on the center of the president’s back, and squeezed the trigger,” Sharp wrote. “The Makarov misfired.”
Then came the twist in Sharp’s fantasy. The failed assassination attempt resulted in the disappointed Russian tasting failure and waiting for the Secret Service to intervene -- only for an American agent to come to his assistance.
“He closed his eyes and waited to pay the cost. It did not come. He opened his eyes. The Secret Service agent stood before him, presenting his Glock, butt first,” Sharp wrote. “’Here,’ the agent said politely. ‘Use mine…’”
A Times spokesperson told Fox News: "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."
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called the story “absolutely abhorrent and disgraceful” during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Thursday, while Media Research Center analyst Clay Waters slammed the story as “disgusting” and labeled it “a Trump assassination fantasy.”
Trump has maintained a conflicted relationship with the Gray Lady, often mocking the paper as “failing” while extending its reporters unique access on occasion.