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White House downplays Secret Service estimate of COVID fraud

The White House downplayed a statement by the U.S. Secret Service that nearly $100 billion at minimum has been stolen from COVID-19 relief programs, saying Wednesday that the estimate is based on old reports.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki, when asked to comment on the figure, said, “There is no new research, data or analysis of fraud here.”

The Secret Service told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the estimate is based on Secret Service cases and data from the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration.

An agency spokesperson said Wednesday that they were not amending a statement on their website, but did add a clarifying note to explain the figure is based on reports from the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration and that the Secret Service was not producing a new report.

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