Secret Service scrutinizes agent who questioned taking a bullet for Trump

A Secret Service agent stands guard next to the podium where U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a campaign rally at Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York April 17, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (REUTERS)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Secret Service may discipline a senior official who suggested on Facebook that she did not want to "take a bullet" for President Donald Trump, the agency and a newspaper said.

The online comments, which were first reported by the Washington Examiner newspaper on Tuesday, were made over seven months ago by Kerry O'Grady, special agent in charge of the agency's Denver district.

In a recent post, O'Grady made the logo for the anti-Trump Women's March in Denver her Facebook cover backdrop on Friday, the day Trump was sworn in as president in Washington, the newspaper said.

"The U.S. Secret Service is aware of the postings and the agency is taking quick and appropriate action," the agency said in a statement on Tuesday. "Any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and swiftly investigated."

O'Grady could not be reached for comment. The Secret Service is in charge of security for the U.S. president and his family, as well as other high-profile political figures including presidential candidates who request protection. Trump, a Republican, won the presidential election on Nov. 8 after a bruising campaign.

According to a screenshot of one of the postings published by the Examiner, O'Grady wrote in October that she had struggled not to violate the Hatch Act, which bars political activity by federal workers.

"But this world has changed and I have changed. And I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here," O'Grady wrote. "Hatch Act be damned. I am with Her."

The post did not mention Trump by name, but "I'm with her" was a campaign slogan for his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

O'Grady told the Examiner she deleted the post after two to three days of greater reflection.

"It was an internal struggle for me but as soon as I put it up, I thought it was not the sentiment that I needed to share because I care very deeply about the mission," the paper quoted O'Grady as saying.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Frances Kerry)

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