Why Sasha And Malia Obama No Longer Have Secret Service Protection

Sasha and Malia Obama used to be two of the most protected kids in the world. In the two terms that their father, Barack Obama, assumed the presidency, they enjoyed protection from the Secret Service 24/7 for eight straight years. But that privilege was lost when a new administration took charge of the Oval Office.

Michelle Obama once shared at the Essence Festival that her daughters did not exactly have a normal childhood, mainly because of the strict security detail. "My kids had armed guards with them at all times," she shared (via ET). "Imagine trying to have your first kiss [around] a bunch of men [with guns] and earpieces." The two even had security tail them even when they went to sleepovers. The Secret Service had to perform a complete sweep of their friends' homes before they were even permitted to come over. "I mean, I'm surprised my kids have any friends, you know?" Michelle quipped. But it wasn't all that bad, of course. During an interview on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," the former first lady dished that Malia and Sasha's guards functioned as their driving teachers, too. "Their agents taught them how to drive ... Malia told me that her first driving lesson was on the Secret Service driving range."

But in 2017, when Donald Trump took over the White House, the Obama kids no longer had the Secret Service watch their every move. It's not because they want to, but because they were no longer required to.

Adult kids of past presidents are not entitled to Secret Service protection

In 2012, former President Barack Obama signed the Former Presidents Protection Act, which entitles former presidents, their spouses, and their children to receive Secret Service protection even long after they leave office. Former presidents and their spouses get lifetime security, but their children only enjoy the privilege until they're 16 years old. Given that both Sasha and Malia Obama were 16 and 19 in 2017, they got the Secret Service off their backs once they left the White House.

It's not like they thoroughly enjoyed having well-armed guards around them, anyway. While agents taught them life skills like driving, Barack shared in "The Late Late Show with James Corden" that the girls did not appreciate security detailing them when they were out having fun. "First of all, them as teenagers having Secret Service guys follow them when they were going out on dates, I think probably has shut down their interest in public service," he jested. "They still have PTSD from guys talking into their wrist microphones and glasses as they're trying to go to a music concert."

Sasha and Malia are now enjoying their freedom

Sasha and Malia Obama are now all grown up and no longer have men in suits follow them around to work, dates, and grocery runs, much to the displeasure of their dad. As it turned out, one of the reasons Barack Obama ran for office the second time was to get the girls to keep their security detail as long as possible. "I've always said, as quiet as it's kept, the second term of the presidency was really fueled by Barack's desire to keep them with their agents into their teen years," Michelle Obama joked during a "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" appearance. "He was like, 'We've got to win, because I don't want those girls walking around.' He wanted men with guns with them. He worked extra hard on those votes. He's like, 'Come on voters!'"

But the sisters are doing just fine without security around. According to their mom, they're living together in Los Angeles, where Malia works as a writer on an Amazon Prime series, and Sasha is finishing her degree at the University of Southern California. It seems they're enjoying life more freely, hitting up Trader Joe's or attending Drake-hosted parties without the looming presence of armed guards.