Former Secret Service Agent Rips Band-Aid off 'Trump Security vs. Secret Service': 'It’s a Nothing-Burger'
On Monday morning, Politico ran a story about President-elect Donald Trump's private security detail and how that may affect his transition to the full-time use of Secret Service agents.
Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino claimed that the news outlet seemed particularly concerned with Trump's continued use of private security in conjunction with Secret Service.
Politico called the continued use of private security “a major break from tradition” and cited comments made by former Secret Service agent under President Obama, Jonathan Wackrow:
"It’s playing with fire. Having a private security team working events with Secret Service increases the Service’s liability, it creates greater confusion and it creates greater risk.
You never want to commingle a police function with a private security function. If you talk to the guys on the detail and the guys who are running the rallies, that’s been a little bit difficult because it’s so abnormal."
Bongino, quickly called Politico out on the assertion, calling the story “fake news”:
His post reads:
I spent a significant portion of my adult life as a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service and, during that time, I worked with White House staff members, foreign governments, and the U.S. military, conducting security advances all over the world. With that, I'll tell you with as close to 100% certainty as you're likely to get that the below linked story is fake news.
Staff / Secret Service friction is not a new phenomenon and pretending that it is because Trump's chosen inner-circle are former law enforcement is both outrageous and inaccurate. The sources quoted in this piece are either making up the information or they don't have the access they claim to have. Remember, Barack Obama chose a former college basketball player with no crowd-control or policy experience as his “body-man” and the media celebrated the decision.
But, now that Trump has selected former law enforcement officials with experience dealing with crowds, Trump-himself, and the Secret Service, it's a controversy? Give me a break.
This is just more fake news looking for a new sucker to bite.
Independent Journal Review spoke directly with Bongino on the subject, and he doubled down on his claims that the story amounted to fake news, mincing no words:
"This is a non-story. It's a nothing-burger on steroids.
So Trump chose a Navy veteran, former NYPD cop, and long time personal friend Keith Schiller as his 'body man' — essentially, his close personal aide and attache. So what?
It's the worst kind of fake news, because the base elements of the story are factual. Did Trump hire an ex-NYPD cop and friend? Yes. But is that really newsworthy? Is it unprecedented? No.
President Obama hired Reggie Love, a Duke University basketball player, and the media loved him.
He was a 'body man,' like Schiller. An aide, an assistant, he was never there in a law enforcement capacity."
Bongino's assertions regarding Reggie Love were correct — ABC profiled the former athlete and Obama “body man” in 2009, even naming him “person of the week.” ABC described Love's duties with a little help from the man himself:
From keeping the newly-minted president on schedule to anticipating his needs, Love is prepared for anything.
“I am an extra set of hands, if he ever needs it,” Love said. “Anything that I can do to make life just a little bit easier is, you know, part of my job.”
Bongino went on to explain why hiring a close friend — particularly one with a background in police work — was not exactly controversial either:
"Someone who has known President-elect Trump as long as Schiller can anticipate what Trump might need, or how he might respond in any situation. He isn't there in a law enforcement capacity, but his law enforcement experience is more likely to help than hurt.
Everything that I have heard from people at these events is that Schiller is great, and that it's helpful that someone is there who understands how the Secret Service works."
Bongino also had something to say regarding Politico's assertions that Trump's private security team would create a conflict with his Secret Service detail:
"The media goal here seems to be to create the narrative that because Trump has private security, they must be like the Gestapo. But that's not reality.
Secret Service and private security work in conjunction in a crowd control function, not a law enforcement function. They don't just throw people out of public events (which would be a violation of civil liberties), but they maintain order at private events.
And private security is paid for by Trump personally. Isn't it a good thing that the taxpayers aren’t paying for it?"
And Bongino topped it all off by blasting the mainstream media's role in fomenting the story:
"The media undercurrent is that Trump is coming for you. Instead of researching the story and then writing it, they write the headline first and then go shopping for a talking head, a dolt who will say what they want.
If you don't say what they want, they pass and go to the next talking head until they find someone who will."
Bongino explained his views in detail in a Facebook live spot for Conservative Review, which can be viewed below: