Skip to main content

tv   The Presidency Secret Service Protection  CSPAN  January 1, 2020 1:00pm-2:01pm EST

1:00 pm
went missing in the war. that is sunday night on c-span's q&a. next on the presidency, former secret service agents talk about protecting the first family and the challenges they face. the speaker including larry buendorf. and the george w. bush presidential center hosted this event. >> here at the bush center, of course, we have a wonderful relationship with our partners at smu and so nice to have the president gerald turner and his wife gayle with us here tonight, and we are grateful to the board members in attendance and knowing the panelists out here, tonight is going to be one of the engaged programs that is informative and highly entertaining and these guys know how the tell a story. and it is a rare treat to have the curtain pulled back from those who are on the front lines of protecting the president and the first family.
1:01 pm
we are honored to be joined tonight by three former secret service agents, and the combined services are 32 years, and larry was honored with a role in stopping assassination attempt on president gerald ford in 1972 in sacramento, and then larry served 25 years as the security chief with the united states olympic committee. joe clancy is with us, and he served on the protective details of four presidents, including president bush and trail blazer as he would have called them by the secret service code name, and he was tempo, and mrs. bush was trail blazer. the 32 years' experience culminated in 2014 when joe was named the director of the secret service and he was in charge from the obama administration. and today, he is the chief
1:02 pm
security officer at comcast corporation. and nicholas trotta is with us, and helped to protect five presidents, including president bush. worked on large scale events such as world leader summits and a lot of the post 9/11 trips and even trips to afghanistan and iraq. and if he is looking familiar, he has been on a documentary or two talking about being on the field with the president when he threw out the first pitch in the game one of the world series. what a moment. also pleased to have with us, spencer geissinger, the former deputy for the president for deputy operations of advancement under president bush. that role saw the integration of dozens of military, security and operational agencies all involved in the presidential travel including the u.s. secret service. today, spencer serves a as the
1:03 pm
global business development, inc., and action premier company. we planned to have with us, the former secret service agent kathleen flat ti, aley, and due medical emergency, kathleen could not be with us, but we all wish her a speedy recovery. so thankful to joe, nick and larry for being on the stage tonight. so let's welcome spencer and the paneltist s tos onto the stage. [ applause ] we will have a fantastic program tonight and interesting information on the secret service and how it runs and a lot of the back stories that you'll find fascinating. and so let's get started. joe, director clancy i should say is a former director of the
1:04 pm
secret service, and can you set the scene with sort of the history of the secret service, and it is not always about protection. >> that is correct, spence, and first, as we are sitting here, it is unusual for the agents to be sitting on stage, and typically stage left or right, and we are good talking into the sleeves, but talking into the mics are a challenge. and i also want to give us a warning that because of the train, any sudden movements might create issues. we have noticed a couple of people did not applaud when we walked in, so that is okay. and also, the history of the secret service is a tremendous history and over 150 years, and started april 14th of 1865, and the civil war and there is a lot of counterfeit currency and the treasury secretary yuma mccullough went into abraham lincoln in 1865 and said that we have ram napant counterfeit
1:05 pm
currency, and he gave the go ahead for the secreter eservic and he had the orders and that night, he went to ford's theater, and to apply for our american cousin and we know what happened with ford's theater, and then from there, we continued to do investigations and as we say throughout history, we can do the paper investigations, and counter currency, and the plastics and the credit card investigations which we still do, and of course, the cyber world which we are one of the best in the world at that as well. but most people think of the secret service when you are thinking of, you know, you think of the production, and protection mission, and thinking of the secret service, and 1901 and after the mckinley's assassination, that is when we started to protect the presidents, and then we had funding from congress to do that, and then it continued to progress taking on candidates after robert kennedy's
1:06 pm
assassination, and started taking on the heads of state to children and wives and spouses of protech tees, and so, we will get into some of that as we go through the program. >> can you talk about the training academy out in beltsfield, maryland, and the total number of agents. for instance, with this presidential candidate campaign coming up with 24 candidates and how much manpower does that require? >> it is a considerable challenge, and every campaign season is a challenge, and history proves that we have done a good job at handling that, and it is a tremendous challenge for the men and women in the secret service, and to their credit, we do a marvelous job in my view, and when we are looking at the history of the country, and most of the world events, the secret service is behind the scenes allowing the events to take place, and lot of it has to do
1:07 pm
with the training. we have a terrific training facility in beltsfield, maryland, and you will see the examples tonight where the training paid off in world events. >> i think that we have a picture that happened of an event that happened at the white house, and tell us a little bit about that. normally, you will see the secret service agents in nice suits and the ear piece is in, and you don't see the weapons. here is a photo of a long gun out, and can you tell us about what is happening here? >> yes, i can remember that president bush just coming back from a visit out of town, and we came back to the white house, and typically when you get inside of the gates of the white house, there a little sense of relief that you have accomplished the mission, and there is a little bit of deep breath. but just as we are pulling up to the oval office area where the president gets out and you have seen it many times in the press, and he has walked up to the colonnade to the office, and we got over the radio that there is
1:08 pm
a fence jumper, and the fence jum eper is over on the complex and the limousine, and turn back to president bush, and say, mr. president, we have a fence jumper, and we are going to be here in the vehicle for a few minutes until we get the issue resolved and the fence jumper, and he is looking behind them, and looking through, and so i was actually kind of glad for that response, and then after, you know, a few seconds goes on, and you can't see the fence jumper and i am not hearing that it is all clear yet, and then the president says, joe, i have to get to work and get into the oval office here, and it took three minutes, but all of the time, i knew that the uniformed officers and the agents, and they were going to get this individual, and i was confident that we would stay in the armored vehicle, and you don't know when they jump the fence if they are armored or what they have, and so to stay in the safe
1:09 pm
area, and could we have evacuated? we could have, but i had confidence we would get him, and then a few minutes later, we were able to let president bush out, and you can see him smirking, because i was holding him in the car. >> if you know president bush, he likes to be on time and he does not like to wait. larry, in 1975, you saved president ford's life and tell us that story. we have a video that we will show you of the attempted assassination attempt and you can talk us through that day. >> okay. >> it was mid-morning in sacramento when president ford left the hotel to walk over to the state capital to have a meeting with edward brown jr. this is a political trip and part of the president's campaign to lock up the republican nomination, and so he was shaking hands as he went along, and working the crowd as politicians say, and it was a friendly crowd accompanied by
1:10 pm
aides and seecret service agent and the president reached for every hand in sight. suddenly, a young woman holding a gun appeared at the president's side. a secret service agent grabbed the gun and wrestled the young woman to the ground, and then formed a tight protective shield to the president and moved swiftly to the capital. >> and there you are apprehending the would-be assassin. >> well, i should have had a haircut back then, and at least that is what my mother said when she heard about it. but, i was working the shift, the morning shift and the president was scheduled to speak at the capital. he walked out of the hotel and the motorcade is there, and schedule and the large crowd is across the street and waiting to see him, and so he walks out on a sunny day in california, and he goes, i think that i will
1:11 pm
walk, and it is across the park and the capital building is right there, and so immediately, that is going to cause a scramable with the agents and the police and trying to move the crowd in the right direction so that there is a pathway, and the crowd is across on one side of the sidewalk, and as he is walking along, he can shake hands. my position at the time was right at his left shoulder. so as he is walking along shaking hands, i am kind of concentrating on his hands, and kind of in the downward motion, because he is going to have anybody grab too long and take the watch and whatever, and so i am looking down, and out in the crowd is a member of the charlie manson family, lynette squeaky fromm who had a gun strapped to her ankle, and so as he is shaking hands, suddenly, i see a
1:12 pm
hand coming up with something in it, and at this time, i didn't know that it was a weapon. but i stepped in front of the president to stop the hand from coming up, because i did not want him to be hit with whatever it was, and the minute i hit it, i knew it was a gun. so i yelled out "gun" and my very best friends with the president leave with the president [ laughter ] trained well. trained well. and part of the training program. you are on your own, buddy. so, she is screaming and the crowd is screaming and i got a hold of her hand and got the gun, and i got the gun here. and another thing, mr. director, i did not have my vest on, and so i am thinking that i don't know if there is more to this if it is happening, but i am not letting go of her, and see her pushing back in the crowd, and i see this guy who has this girl and she is screaming.
1:13 pm
i kept pushing her away and by then, the president is gone with the agents and i drop her to the ground, and some of the police and agents come from the back of the crowd, and i handed him the gun and cuff her which is happening now as you can see. and once she was cuffed, i turned her over to the agent that was from our intelligence division, and the police and i went back to rejoin the shift, and that is pretty fast and furious, and then in a matter of seconds, you have a chance to sit back and think about how fast it went down. [ applause ] >> what did she say when you -- did she make any comments? >> supposedly, she was saying that it didn't go off, but when i hit the .45 she could have been pulling back the slide, because i did grab it and it cut my hand and for months, i kept
1:14 pm
jabbing the wound to make sure it would stay open so i could say, "do you see this?" it healed way too fast. so just a little cut, but anyhow, i think that she was pulling back and when she hit it, i stopped the slide. if she had a round chamber, it would have gone through me and the president, because i did not have a vest on. interesting thing, when we got to back to air force one and i was pulled off in sacramento to be interviewed by the fbi, who take jurisdiction once we have an attempt like that, and mrs. ford was there in another direction and so when he boarded the plane, she turned to him and said, well, how was your day, mr. president? not so good. >> well, i know that the country is better for your duty that day and taking care of our
1:15 pm
president. september 11th, 2001, is a day that changed the country forever, and can you, nick and joe, can you walk us through the day and talk to us about the fog of the day and trying to determine who was trying to decapitate our leadership of our country and sort of how you dealt with it throughout the day? >> sure. it is one of those moments in history that everyone can pretty much identify and recall where you were that day, and for some reason, i came in early that morning and the president and i did not accompany him, but i waited for the president to return, and for whatever reason, i went to the white house early that morning. i was working out, and had espn on. i was watching whatever sports highlights and then i saw the first plane just like everyone else. it was that second one when we realized that we were under attack. mrs. bush was at the u.s. capitol at the time, and so there was a, it took some time
1:16 pm
to see what was happening, and we wanted to get her away from the capitol. we had known that there were three planes down, and the pentagon had just, and the plane had just hit the pentagon and i was, i decided to go to connect with mrs. bush as we relocated her from the capitol. that time, as we mentioned earlier in the green room, there were about six planes that were still unidentified at the time after the plane hitting the pentagon. it was a challenging day, because, united states had not been attacked since pearl harbor, and you are looking at the oklahoma bombing. but in this case here, we had the president in florida who wanted to come back. you had the first lady who wanted to be teamed up with her husband. and so we restricted the
1:17 pm
communication because of the nature of what was happening and the president was relocated to louisiana as everyone got to see. it took some time. the president wanted to come back. we weren't sure what was happening yet. the air space was controlled, and then it was not until later on in the evening that the decision was made by the president that he was adamant that he was going to address the nation from the white house. and then it was at that point that we linked up the president and the first lady. >> joe, what is your recollection of that day? >> i was actually in japan, and with the secretary of treasury o'neal, and we had just arrived from china to japan, and it was 9:00 in the evening. i said, good night, mr. secretary, and went to my room and turned and the tv and as nick described i saw the airplane crashing into the world trade center and i went down to secretary o'neal, and i said, i don't think that he had seen it just yet, and we immediately tried to get an aircraft back
1:18 pm
home to the states, but as we know that all of the aircraft were grounded, so it took almost 24 hours to get a military flight to fly back to washington, d.c. >> tell us a little bit about post-9/11 with the development of homeland security and sort of that day sort of revealed a lot of things about how we treated security, and how our government ran with respect to this kind of an attack and sort of the deficiencies that were uncover and sort of how the department of homeland security came about. >> sure. again, it had developed after 9/11 and at the time that the secret service was under the department of the u.s. treasury, you had other entities, and you had alcohol, tobacco and firearms on the treasury, and other departments under justice, and so law enforcement and the intelligence community were, you know, in different agencies and
1:19 pm
the u.s. coast guard was under transportation. and so it was not until dhs put it all under one roof. so where you had all of the law enforcement outside of those inside of the department of justice, and so you had this, and it took some time, and growing pains with it just like, you know, anything else. but, it, you know, it is one of those moments in history when you can see that the department was created and everybody was under one roof and we could communicate and share a little bit of, say, a little bit bert than previous, and then it was getting, and it is as you had mentioned earlier hour, does the country move forward after such a tragic event like that. let alone, the new creation of the departments and the other things that the department of defense were doing, and other men and women across the whole united states that were trying
1:20 pm
to strengthen and make the homeland safe, but it was then the president of first lady, and how to move and get the folks move, because i remember the president saying that if he is just staying in the white house, folks in new york and d.c., they may not go out, and the other parts of the country were affected and the people in new york and d.c., it was right here at home. when you are talking to the folks, you know, up in new york that lived it, it was getting the country back. so then it was creating the movements. >> yes, so a lot of you will remember that just a few days after, there were a couple of things that a few days after the attack at the world trade center, president bush actually went to new york city and stood on the rubble pile, and if you have toured the museum, you will see the bull horn that he gave the remarks from. so it is that and going to new york immediately after 9/11 letting the american people know
1:21 pm
that we will move forward as a country and we will get through this, and a bigger veevent and better picture of it, the yankees were in the world series and the mlb had wondered whether to call it off or delay it. and so talk to us about that event, because this is one of the seminal event s ths that gad the country. >> yes, and if you can remember, he was holding a strategy meeting at camp david shortly thereafter and we were departing, and i was accompanying the president on the trip, and so as the president was marine i on the south grounds and the press were on the south grounds of the white house, and not sure why, but the president when he came out of the oval office, instead of going to directly marine one,
1:22 pm
he signaled me over, and i was not sure if he was waving to me, and i was not sure whether to go over because of all of the press and he said, guess what? we are going to the world series. i was like, what? that is what happened. he brought everybody and calmed the whole situation down. it was a stressful period. i was in shock. i mean, we are getting ready to go to camp david and he calmed everybody down, "nicky, we are going to yankee stadium to the world series." and we would tease each other, me being a big yankee fan, and preparing to go, and new york city, we had all forces to assist, and all of the resources. those who have a chance to watch the espn documentary and behind the scenes and the stress and
1:23 pm
the build-up, and everyone in the stadium had been gone through metal detectors and billy crystal was clear that, hey, if i have to get to the world series and we have to go through the metal detectors, we will do it. and so it was a unique time. the planning was, you know, it was difficult, because we are, and it was an extremely stressful period, and you have the world series and major league baseball going on, and the president of the united states going not to the stadium, but going to the field to the mound to throw out the first pitch. so it is the planning between new york city support, and the other federal partners made the event extremely go forward. >> and the planning to allow him to go out to mound if you saw him, and if you saw the video, and he went from the mound all of the way to the rubber on the mound to throw out the pitch
1:24 pm
without any security around him, and all of that was possible with the planning and tell us a little bit about the agents were, and -- >> yeah. so we had a photo in the baseball fan, picked up right away on it, and during the world series and play, you had the two extra umpires and while there was an extra one. >> an extra extra one. >> and so just with the incident with larry, and you had the agents and the assassination attempt of president ford as he said, they left him. so that what we are to do, and the agents were to respond and get the protectant out of the way, and again here, unique situation. it was a, and it was a, the
1:25 pm
planning going into the mound and whether or not he was actually going to, you know, stay for part of the game or stay for the game and where you would sit, and a lot that had gone in, and we had excellent support, and the resources were tremendous, and the umpires and air space and covered, and we had pretty much everyone in media assist us tremendously, also, by giving us access. >> the mound at yankee stadium was the safest place in the world. >> safest place in the world. >> and joe, i want to meander around with all different topics. tell us a little bit about how secret service protected the children of the first family and sort of what goes into that and the delicacies of, that and sort of how you handle that, because i know that it is a difficult situation sometimes. >> it can be, because the secret service of course wants to protect the children, but you
1:26 pm
also want to make sure that they have as best as possible a normal life, and that is very hard when you are in this bubble, and i realize that. myposure of mrs. obama and first time i sat down with her at length, and it is about mrs. obama having the school plays and the basketball games and so on and so forth, and i wanted to make sure that she knew that we had the same goals, and so it is, as kids get older and in the teen years, it is more challenging, because as you can imagine, no teenager wants guys like me looking like this coming out on a date [ laughter ] and so that is the balance and you try to do the best you can, but you want to be in a safe environment. >> great. a huge part of any successful presidency requires foreign
1:27 pm
policy and foreign travel. and so looking and traveling and taking the president overseas, he does not fly a commercial plane and go to hertz and get a car and tremendous amount of planning and it is shocking to know how many planes are full of equipment and materials overseas any time the president travels. can you talk about that? >> yes, spence. it is really moving the white house, and when the president travels overseas, we are moving the white house, and with that, the limousines on these planes that you can see on the cargo planes, you can fit six to eight cars on the aircraft, and you can fit helicopters on the aircraft. so, everything moves in this foreign country, but one of the biggest, and beyond the logistics, the biggest challenge is the advance work, because you don't have the same authority
1:28 pm
that you have within the states, and you are relying on the foreign countries to do what you want, and there is a lot of negotiating back and forth and a lot of nudging back and forth and because you want, and you know what you want, and what you need to have a safe environment, and we don't always get to that point. >> and so reciprocity is a big part of it and negotiating of whether you can carry the weapons in a foreign country or not, and whether we can fly marine one and china would fight us if we could fly marine one, and talk about that how you negotiate and then hopefully when their leader comes to the states, you know, it is an even exchange exchange. >> you go ahead. >> because we have a good video to show you in a moment how there was a negotiation and there was not an even exchange. >> and now, going out on the nature of the visit and the type
1:29 pm
of the summit, and again, a lot of the leaders come into the united states, and so, we hold a pretty firm requirement, and not going to allow the president and the first lady to be unescorted, and we are not going to, and the advanced teams have to push on it, and sometimes you have to have the political folk and the ambassadors and the chiefs of staff, and the director of the white house advance team to negotiate, you know, the requirements, because when you are getting into the summit and you will see the video later, but when you get into the summit, there are 30 counterparts or 20 counterparts of security, and what do you do with the security folks? as joe was saying, it is the cars, food. it's medical supplies and it is the whole white house is moving regardless of the length of time that the president is traveling. so there is an entire package
1:30 pm
that goes along with this, let alone the cars and then you have the spare, right? so you are looking at the aircrafts and as joe said, marine one, and so you have to have the backup plans, and the medical, and so it is a big footprint, and so it is all about, and it is not just about just protecting the president and the first lady in a threat, but to help them to fulfill their duties to govern the united states, and wherever that president is, the machine follows and we are part of that along with the military and the medical unit so that the president can fulfill his duties as the chief executor. >> and the president can literally do anything in the foreign country that he could do at the white house. every piece of technology, equipment and personnel and resources, he has when he is on a foreign trip. let's run a video, because we
1:31 pm
have an interesting video of a foreign trip to chilchile. do you want to narrate this, nick? >> this is the summit of 30 countries that touch the pacific ocean, and the president and the first lady had just arrived, but prior to that, they had taken, the chileans had taken the secret service advance agent away from the site. and so we had a slight delay, but at this point, i thought that it was okay to go, and so we left. the president and first lady, we talked about it. as we went, and what happened was that i stayed back a little bit to allow the press to take the photograph of the president, the first lady along with the president of chile, and the security started to close in behind the president, and he is now hearing me yelling [ laughter ]
1:32 pm
so, he was trained well [ laughter ] so it was, i was fortunate, because -- [ laughter ] and so it is like moses parting the water. and the first lady is here, and she can attest that they were hitting me and i'm not sure why, but in all seriousness, i actually thought at that moment, because this is like a game, and it is like, the security part is like a dangerous game. and we are maintaining the prize, we have the president. at that moment, i actually thought that today is the day, because i was the only foreign security allowed inside. i thought that today is the day that they were hitting me, and nobody has ever done that before. they were grabbing my arms, and i was yelling, get your hands
1:33 pm
off of me and i am right hands and that is where my weapon was, and that is where they were hitting me and it is very confusing and then the doors were closing and that is definitely, you know, a concern. and then, so, as i got pushed up to the stairs, the president and the first lady heard the commotion, heard the yelling. my chilean counterpart actually tried to help, but the others weren't buying in, and they formed a wall and the president like moses came and parted the waters and came in. but, again, as you said, the advance team, and not only the secret service, but the advance team had worked it out to ensure that the secret service was going to have the representative in with the president and accompany the president and the first lady at all times, and then something broke down. it broke down just 10 minutes prior to departure, and then we were able to get the agent back. but, spence, if you remember,
1:34 pm
they took the white house staff representative along with the secret service agent, and took them away and actually put them in a room, and they secured it with an officer. and now, we had no one, and then they finally when we decided that we were not going, and waiting, and this is when we brought the individual back, and even though last minute, things change, and you have these agreements, and things change. >> i remember a trip that the president's last trip to china was for the olympics. and i had made two to three trips to china to negotiate with the preadvanced team and the survey team to negotiate for the credentials and the passes and the permits and the vehicle placards and we were on air force one flying to beijing and it had not been worked out, so sometimes it just. >> and that is one thing to add to it, and not just the united states and the negative press after, but the united states, it
1:35 pm
is not that, you know, we are, you know, we are tops and we want to, you know, be the rulers, but it is that we recognized that so do our counter parts in the foreign countries that the united states' president, and whoever the president is brings in the highest threat. the highest threat is against the u.s. president. they recognized that, and however, at the summits, whether it is the g-8, the g-20, and at the asia pacific, where they have 30 detail leaders, but again, the united states, with the support of the white house, of course, they ensured to hold that where the president or the first lady are never unescorted. we do then when they come here to the united states, the secret service does, does play a good partner with them, but they also don't bring that footprint, and spence, you know, that you have worked many of these, and the foreign governments don't come with that big machine.
1:36 pm
>> right. and we are often and when i mentioned the reciprocity earlier, we try and give them everything that we have asked for in their country, we give them when they come on their trip. >> absolutely. >> and go ahead, joe. >> one comment, because you saw president bush's support coming back for nick there, and also, to say that there is another event where there is a state dinner planned, and we noticed that when we were doing the dance that the magnetometers were not in place at the white house in a foreign country and nobody was checking for weapons, and nick was my supervisor at the time, my boss, and i called back, and i said, my reck men dissi -- recommendation is that we don't go, because we can't account for 250 people unmanaged. a -- unmagged and the result is they scrapped the state dinner and we don't want to do that, because of the ramification, but
1:37 pm
it is the support of president bush for the security, and they had a 14 on each side dinner including the director of the secret service at the time, but that support was very important. >> let's talk and move to the post presidency. larry, you ran president ford's detail and you were in charge of the detail post presidency, and talk to us about that, the challenges of a post-presidency without all of the support that the president had when he was in office. >> you know, people don't understand how difficult it is to cover a former president. like i had former president ford and mrs. ford seven months in vail [ laughter ] five months in vail, and seven months in poland springs. and so it was very, very stressful. what is different with the
1:38 pm
former president is that you no long ver a military planes, air force one, so you have to make sure that you have the american airlines mileage card, because you are going to be spending a lot of time traveling. and traveling with the former president and mrs. ford was different, because, you are on a public plane. they want to greet him, and president ford had a great system. he would get on the plane, and flying in first class made me that i had to fly first then, too. but he would go on the inside seat, and i'd be on the aisle, and he would immediately go to sleep so to speak, and people would come by and go, oh. and so they would go by. but he was, both he and mrs. ford were spectacular to work for. and, you know, he was great on the golf course. bob hope made jokes about him, and bob hope said that he is the
1:39 pm
only president that could play two golf courses simultaneously [ laughter ] and the jokes kept going on and on, but very gracious couple. it was a privilege to be on the detail. >> great. nick, let's you and i have the privilege to do a couple of secret trips. joe, you were on them as well. talk to us a little bit about what it takes to plan a secret trip by sitting president in a foreign country without anybody knowing. >> well, finding out on the first one, and so getting call and there were only a few of us in on it, and we went to the room to get the briefing. i actually remember that and so
1:40 pm
there were only about five in the room, and mr. hagan, and i remember a tray of chocolate chip cookies there that were not for us, and mr. hagan said what i am about to tell you is coming from the president and it is not negotiatabl negotiatable, and the president is going to baghdad. i am not sure why, but i shot up, and went, what? what? and i went for those cookies and i unraveled and started to eat them. i looked at the director and realized that i was an adult and supposed to have some responsibility, and i went back. but from that moment forward we had five days to plan for this trip. it wasn't just taking a sitting president into a war zone, it was secretly doing it. the white house or any place, the ranch in this case where he left from.
1:41 pm
it is not set up to sneak the president out, and especially when we did the second ones at the white house, and mrs. bush will recall on the second one when the president, and i went up early in the morning, and he had the sunglasses and ball cap on and maria said that he was in the hallway, and i took a peek and barney was there and mrs. beasley and i said, sir, we are ready, and i said the glasses, and he said shush, we are sneaking out. i don't want barney to know. i wanted to say, just get in the elevator, but he actually said in the elevator, nick, you know, like, chill. i said, sir, i don't know if i can do any more of these, because this is the second one. the planning is that when you are secretly doing it, there were secret service people, and we could not share information with them and let alone the folks on the detail. so it wasn't a want to know, but it was a need to know.
1:42 pm
we had to safely successfully take the president out so that the president could fulfill the mission. did i want to go there? of course not. but that is not what we are all about, and the president was adamant when we went there and, spencer, as you know, we agreed to three hours on the ground, which we got about 3 1/2 or 4, but the president was clear that he would serve every thanksgiving meal to every soldier, and it was a moving moment. then he met with some of the leaders in the community. that was the photo that you are seeing now. >> that is in the chow hall. >> yes, in the chow hall. but you are also not telling the military. and air force one, and colonel tillman did an outstanding job of taking this aircraft, and changing the codes as he has talked about and flew without the call signs, and then arriving in country, and not only where the men and women were in awe when they saw the president, but the other folks
1:43 pm
on the ground had no clue. so it was a team effort, but only five days. >> yes, five days and literally 99.9% of the white house staff did not know. most of the secret service agents who were on the detail did not know. members of the president's family did not know. and so they were sneaking the president out of the white house as any of you have been to washington, you know that all around the white house, there are turrets everywhere and you can't just drive him out. so there a lot of going into getting him out of there and getting him to andrews aboard the plane and having the plane take off and fly all of the way to iraq without another airliner passing it in the sky and saying, there goes air force one, and that has happened. >> it has happened. and the first one, if you can remember, we had left crawford and had a switch in andrews,
1:44 pm
because we needed a full tanning of gas and then we left. >> joe? >> in the next time with the s.a.c. and i was involved with the branch to helping get out of the white house complex, and then president obama went over on one of the missions and i had the experience of nick and how his team worked it fortunately, and one rule is that if it had leaked out, we would not do all of the stops or limit the time on the ground. so as we were leaving turkey to go to iraq, it did leak out, and so once again, you are in the position where you have to make a recommendation which you know is not popular, and the recommendation was that we just go to the military base and there were a lot of discussions about it, but once again, at this point, the obama administration, there was a big discussion on air force one, and they were supportive. it means a lot to the agents of course when you get that kind of support. >> can i add to that for a second. >> go ahead.
1:45 pm
>> on that trip which joe did not mention, joe was a special agent with president obama and the assistant director and we were leaving as he said from istanbul to go to afghanistan and it was a secret trip. so they were planning the trip, and prior to the departing the last venue in istanbul as joe said, the word was getting out, and the staff were still working on the time of the trip, how much time on the ground, and the staff, again, because of their priorities and their mission, they were extending it. and joe was holding firm, and he would not say this, so i will embarrass him, but it is an important point, because it is going to show you the relationship regardless of what you read in the newspapers, the relationship of the president and the first lady with the detail is tremendous, because they recognize and they support. and it is in this particular case, and i was present for it, the president had his senior advisers and asking for the plan. what is the schedule?
1:46 pm
and they were giving this long, long, we will do this, this and extend. he looked at joe, president obama looked at joe, and he saw obviously that he was not buying into the extended program, and said, "joe, what schedule do you prefer" and he said the shorter one. and the president said, that's it, and walked out, and we went to the cars. the decision was made regardless of the senior staff. he relied on joe. >> yep. >> yeah, thanks. [ applause ] here at the bush center there is a new special exhibit "away from the white house." let's talk about where our presidents go when they are not staying in the white house. so let's cover their private residences where they go and little bit about camp david. anybody? start with larry. >> well, we went to vail.
1:47 pm
the hard part of that is when he was in office was the advance team, as you said, sometimes two to three weeks out ahead, and so, i was a skier and still am, i think. so the advanced teams would have to go out for two weeks ahead of the president to vail for mountain familiarization [ laughter ] it required us getting up with the ski patrol to ski with fresh powder, and familiarize ourselves with the runs to make sure that there was no one hiding in the trees, et cetera. so, we thought that it was an interesting operation to move about the mountain in such a way that we are great outfit, larry, but, and we have moved about the
1:48 pm
mountain without people being able to trail us the way we ran the formations, and we would go into the ski line, and obviously to the ski instructor line, and going to the line, and be up in mountain and down a run and gone. so we were able to move about without interrupting the normal ski days of everyone else, so it worked out well. >> great. >> and nick, talk about the ranch. >> and with that, what is important is that, again, the first families are trying to live a normal life in the bubble. and the thing about seeing the secret service is to take this private nature when they go into the public nature. president reagan, horseback rider, and president bush 41, and what did he not do, right. boats, water, and president bush, running, biking. and president clinton and president bush and president
1:49 pm
obama and all of the other activities and the secret service had to train agents on horseback. and u.s. park used to play a tremendous role, because it is about how to extract or evacuate the president and the first lady while they are on horseback. how about getting to them in water safety in boat patrol. and president bush, george h.w. bush, 41, and being in kennebunkport would be all around and they would say, how many fish did you catch, and he would say, with all of these boats around, they scared the fish away. >> and for you as well, that boat "fidelity" it was not a slow boat, because he would drive it at full throttle. and we are making light of the training, but it is serious, because they have to learn to mountain bike. and president bush mountain bikes on his ranch in crawford and he is a serious mountain
1:50 pm
bikers and you have the be able to keep up with him. >> before the mountain bike was the running, because in the campaign, he averaged and i hope he is not listening, but he averaged around which is aliste tremendous 7:40 pace, and i wasn't a runner. in fact, i didn't like to run. but he ran a race in d.c. as president, ran a 3 mile race, made the cover of runners world, ran a 6:40 pace for 3 miles. but at the ranch, and where he ran, he was averaging about a 7:10 pace, so just the training of that alone, the agents would equipment the radio, a weapon, no vest, and then the president bush started these heat runs. i didn't know what a heat run was, and neither did he when he created it, but he formed this hundred degree club which later went to his mountain bike, and so it's -- you could start out thinking, you're in pretty good
1:51 pm
shape. it's finishing the race with the president and do you have enough energy to hopefully and successfully evacuate or attend to the medical, so you're definitely in training all the time. but it was a -- you had to look at formations, you had to look at with 41 as everyone knows ken kn -- kennebunkport, the coast guard assisted but the secret service agents had to prepare water in water safety, boat handling, boat safety on how to extract the president from the water, but it's not just helo lift from the water it was putting him maybe in a boat and bringing him to shore. so we had to get armored vehicles aligned, we had imaginary lines, the smart ones figured out how to divide up the
1:52 pm
atlantic ocean, and we have mark lowry who was on the detail orders and former agent in charge here in dallas, you recall kennebunkport, we would have to, you know, move the cars and get ready to receive the president if he had to come on shore, so the president would cross over this imaginary line, and you were with the first lady, with tranquility with barbara bush and we would move, they would say president's in the zone, and we would move the cars. we wait ten minutes, and then we start moving cars around again, and it was, you know, it was training involved in it, but we're moving and you're kind of disrupting the town also, but all of that comes down to expense as you said earlier, as we started and talked about training, it all comes down to training and the success of training was the successful attempt that lowry prevented, his training. >> let's talk about that in closing, we just have a minute or two left.
1:53 pm
let's talk about how you're trained to make a split-second decision. often times, you know, it's just you have zero, you just have to react. how are you trained to do that? >> go ahead, joe, why don't you start. >> you go ahead. you've got the training part of it. i was just going to say it is what it is. the training that you have to do, and then it comes down to the person of can you react when the time comes in the right way. >> and i think of jerry par would often talk about his experience in 1981 during the reagan assassination attempt, and most of you have seen the video of that, and look at tim mccarthy when the first shot rang out, tim turned around and made himself big, that's not a natural instinct when you hear a gunshot to make yourself big, it's usually to cover yourself, get behind cover, he made himself big to protect the
1:54 pm
training, that's part of repetitive training. >> this is sort of our wrap up. sometimes with all the greatest security, the most trained personnel, the best equipment, sometimes the president just has to take matters into his own hands and in baghdad, he had to fulfill the texas two step right here. he was pretty quick. well, this concludes our presentation. this concludes our panel mrs. bush. thank you so much for having us. we really enjoyed being here. >> expense, if you don't mind, we all felt very honored to be down here today, and we had fun telling stories and all, but we certainly thank the bush family,
1:55 pm
the extended bush family for all they have done for the secret service over years, and we told some stories here tonight but when you go to the bush library and see the enormity of what they have done for this country, it just makes you very proud so mrs. bush, thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you to expense, joe, nick and larry for a fantastic program. i told you it would be both informative and entertaining, and they delivered as we knew they would. thank you all for coming. tonight you'll be exiting through the museum. please take a few minutes if you can to stop by and visit our new special exhibit, presidential retreats away from the white house which will be open until 8:15, and remember tickets are available at bush center.org for our next engage program, our annual highland capital lecture, on june 12th, dana perino, global flash points with ian bremer, and neil ferguson. thank you and have a good
1:56 pm
evening. all week we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available on c-span 3, lectures in history, real america, the civil war, oral histories, the presidency, and special event coverage about our nation's history. enjoy american history tv now and every weekend on c-span 3. this weekend on lectures in history, we visit the boston college classroom of professor seth jacobs, he talks about why president lyndon johnson escalated the war in vietnam following president kennedy's assassination. here's a preview.
1:57 pm
>> although the gulf resolution was never in jeopardy, johnson told william fullbright, a democrat from arkansas and the chairman of the senate foreign relations community to secure passage of the ton ka gulf resolution. it's not enough to get a win. i need an overwhelming win, if possible, i need a unanimous win. anything else johnson explained would tarnish the image of unity that was so important to america's international reputation, so fulbright who would become a ferocious critic of the vietnam war, he portrayed the resolution as a moderate measure calculated to prevent the spread of war end quote, and fullbright went to work on governor mcgovern of south dakota and john sherman cooper of kentucky. he allayed their fears that the president would be given certain powers. he went to work on garynelson.
1:58 pm
told nelson that superfluous since the last thing we want is to become involved in a land war in asia, end quote, so nelson, to his ever lasting regret dropped his amendment, and as i said the senate approved the resolution with morris and gruning dissenting. the house of representatives passed it unanimously and the language of the gulf resolution granted the president extraordinary latitude. according to the joint resolution, quote, the congress approves the determination of the president as commander in chief to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the united states and to prevent further aggression. end quote. wayne morris, again my hero in this episode stated afterwards to a virtually empty hall, he's holding force to the ether because his colleagues have gone home, quote, we are in effect giving this president war making
1:59 pm
powers in the absence of a declaration of war. i believe this to be a historic mistake end quote. gruning said quote all vietnam is not worth the life of a single american boy end quote. johnson said of the resolution quote it's like grandma's nighty, it covers everything, end quote, and it totally demolished barry goldwater on the foreign policy front. if the president was a tender foot, an amateur in foreign policy, why had the congress of which goldwater was a member voted virtually unanimously the power to engage war, or the congress wouldn't have abdicated its own responsibility and allowed this one man to decide what was militarily appropriate in southeast asia. >> join the class and learn more about johnson's escalation of the vietnam war this weekend on american history tv.
2:00 pm
the house will be in order. >> for 40 years, c-span has been providing america unfiltered coverage of congress, the white house, the supreme court, and public policy events from washington, d.c. and around the country. so you can make up your own mind. created by cable in 1979, c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite providers. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. each week american history tv's american artifacts visits museums and historic places. next, in the first of a two-part program, we visit the women's memorial near arlington national cemetery to learn about women who served in the u.s. military from the revolutionary war through world war ii. this is about 40 minutes. >> i'm demac williams, president of the women's memorial foundation. 'm

31 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on