Sanders receiving Secret Service protection

Story highlights

  • Democratic presidential candidate Bernie began receiving Secret Service protection on Wednesday
  • Sanders is the fourth presidential candidate to receive Secret Service protection this campaign cycle

(CNN)Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders began receiving Secret Service protection on Wednesday, the Department of Homeland Security said.

Todd Breasseale, the department's acting assistant secretary for public affairs, said the protection was granted by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson following a request from the Vermont senator's campaign and after consultation with a congressional advisory committee.
Last week, a Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman told CNN that the Sanders' campaign requested Secret Service protection for the Vermont senator.
    Marsha Catron told CNN at the time that the department and a congressional advisory committee, which includes House Speaker Paul Ryan, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, was reviewing the request.
    Prior to Sanders' campaign making the request, Johnson told CNN that Sanders would likely get the protection based on his crowd sizes.
    Sanders is drawing some of the largest crowds of the presidential election cycle, including a crowd of 20,000 in Minnesota last week. A private security detail has been accompanying Sanders at some of his stops.
    Sanders is the fourth presidential candidate to receive Secret Service protection this campaign cycle. Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton already has a Secret Service detail because of her status as a former first lady, and Republican presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ben Carson began receiving protection last fall.