House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent a letter Wednesday to the White House asking for a postponement of the annual State of the Union address until after the government shutdown has ended. Pelosi cited security concerns over the speech due to “hamstrung” security agencies.
The U.S. Secret Service was designated as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for National Special Security Events. However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] have not been funded for 26 days now — with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs. Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing to the Congress on January 29th.
However, multiple DHS officials and Secret Service veterans have said that Pelosi is not being truthful in her remarks and weaponizing the Secret Service for political reasons.
Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino tells The Daily Caller that Pelosi owes the Secret Service an apology and that the shutdown has nothing to do with agency readiness.
“The timing of their paychecks will have absolutely ZERO impact on their security plan. If Pelosi thinks the agents are going to put the POTUS in danger because they’ve missed a paycheck then she should find a new line of work,” Bongino said.
“The Secret Service is owed an apology by her for being unnecessarily put in the middle of this. These are patriots, not politicians,” Bongino added. (RELATED: Trump: If Democrats Think A Wall Is ‘Immoral,’ They Should Do Something About The Vatican)
Bongino also tweeted that Pelosi fabricated “a story in order to hurt Trump.”
The Secret Service’s security plan for the SOTU will not change due to the partial shutdown. Pelosi knows this and yet she decided to fabricate a story in order to hurt Trump. Pathetic.
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) January 16, 2019
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted bluntly Wednesday afternoon that the agency was “fully prepared” to protect the president, while thanking the agents.
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union. We thank the Service for their mission focus and dedication and for all they do each day to secure our homeland.
— Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen (@SecNielsen) January 16, 2019
NBC reporters who spoke with Secret Service officials on background also made similar notes about Pelosi.
“We’ve been planning for this for months, as we always do. It didn’t start up 29 days ago,” the official told NBC.
From @petewilliamsnbc on Secret Service & SOTU “It’s a no-fail mission,” the official says.
“We’ve been planning for this for months, as we always do. It didn’t start up 29 days ago,” @SecretService is not being paid during shutdown
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) January 16, 2019
The annual speech has been given by the president to Congress since the early 1900s. Trump’s is supposed to be delivered Jan. 29, 2019.
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