- Associated Press - Thursday, November 5, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Secret Service is now protecting the presidential campaigns of Ben Carson and Donald Trump.

The Homeland Security Department tells The Associated Press that it has authorized its agents to work on protective details for the two leading Republican presidential candidates.

Both requested protection last month. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (Jay) Johnson approved the requests after consulting with five members of Congress.

The presence of Secret Service agents can elevate the perception of a campaign’s legitimacy.

Carson and Trump have been leading the GOP nomination fight one year ahead of the 2016 election.

Secret Service protection is generally afforded to candidates for president and vice president 120 days before an election. But past candidates, including President Barack Obama, have been assigned protection far earlier in their campaigns.

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