Dan Emmett, a retired Secret Service agent who worked with 3 former Presidents, isn't slamming President Trump for his hospital stunt ... saying danger is routine for agents' -- coronavirus or not.
Emmett -- who spent 21 years in the Secret Service during the terms of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush -- was on "TMZ Live" Monday talking about the controversy Trump created by taking an SUV ride, while having COVID-19, just to wave to his supporters.
Dan downplays the outrage and provides some insider perspective, telling us any time the President is outside of The White House there's serious risk to the agents on his detail ... and Trump's not the first to add to it, strictly for PR purposes.
According to Emmett ... this is what signing up for the Secret Service entails -- POTUS can do what he wants, and it's up to the agents to protect him. Dan even offers a famous example from the Clinton era ... and it's a fair point.
Still, a pandemic's a different situation, but Dan suggests proper medical precautions were taken to be as safe as possible for Trump's brief hospital respite.
He also says with the mitigating circumstances, the agents who escorted Trump could have opted out if they felt uncomfortable with the COVID exposure and it would have been no biggie ... but that's not how Secret Service agents tend to roll.
For what it's worth, the 2 agents who did drive Trump around reportedly volunteered for the gig, which hammers home Dan's point.