Inside look: Protecting President Donald Trump and the First Family
01/20/2017 11:55 am PST
On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States in Washington, D.C.
Crime Watch Daily has a behind-the-scenes look at the security plan in place to protect the president and his family, including a beefed up presence in New York City.
When it comes to protecting the new president and his family, don't call Secret Service agents "bodyguards."
"Secret Service agents really hate it when people say that," said former agent Dan Bongino. "That's not what we do. It is a very, very cerebral position that requires very detailed planning in a zero-error environment."
"Does this protection extend out to his grown children?" Nance asked.
"Always it can be requested, and then it's a decision between the White House and the Secret Service," said White.
But given the high level of threat and contentiousness during Trump's campaign, Dan Bongino believes there will be no choice.
"The nuclear family is all going to have protective details -- the sons, the daughters, they're all going to have their own specific details, which are going to have their own financial codes, their own fancy code names," said Bongino.
The hostile environment and threat level directed at Trump may even call for protection of his extended family as well.
"They'll be doing risk analysis and seeing if there's potential threats, what are the vulnerabilities to the family members, and then a determination will be made," said Dr. White.
"Based on what we've seen at rallies I wouldn't be surprised at all if the extended family, they pushed out the protective bubble to them as well," said Bongino.
Daughter Ivanka has already had her share of deep security scares. Her longtime alleged stalker Justin Massler was just re-arrested last month only two blocks from Trump Tower. And more recently, as she traveled on a commercial airliner with her children, a Trump heckler seemed to verbally harass her.
"There've been a lot of questions, 'Why didn't the Secret Service get involved?' Well, they did," said Bongino. "They just didn't put hands on 'cause he didn't make a threat. Having said that, if he makes a furtive movement towards her or if he makes a veiled or direct threat, then that's different."
The very high-profile Trump family is accustomed to freedom, autonomy and calling their own shots. If they don't like the constant shadowing of the Secret Service, they'll have to learn to live with it.
"They don't have a lot to say, except for black-and-white issues," said Bongino.
But one thing Trump does want? The best of both of his worlds.
"Donald Trump has said that he would like to commute between Washington, D.C., using the White House sort of as an office for four days, and then going back to New York City to Trump Tower for three days," said Malcolm Nance. "What challenges does that present?"
"Moving a president between those locations is going to be difficult," said White. "Traffic -- if anyone's been to New York -- traffic on a good day is horrendous. Moving a presidential motorcade through New York on a constant basis would be a great disruption to the surface traffic of New York City."
"Right, I was just there recently and Fifth Avenue is closed. They've got it cut off with dump trucks," said Nance. "And that has a cascading effect, like four to five blocks deep in every direction."
"As Mr. Trump enters the presidency and the realities of the job come through, we may see his transition team and Mr. Trump reevaluating some of the decisions he has chosen," said White.
Logistical nightmare? Perhaps, but Melania Trump's wish as First Lady is to stay in Trump Tower while her son Barron attends school. Former Agent Dan Bongino doesn't see a problem.
"We've had first ladies in D.C. from minute one that engage in this big robust international or national travel schedule that frankly probably costs the taxpayer and the Secret Service more headaches than if Melania Trump picks up her kid from school and stays up in New York," said Bongino.
"She's already stated that she's focused on her kids, which says to me she's probably going to have a pretty light travel schedule," said Bongino.
As for local residents and visitors, moving in and around one of New York's ritziest addresses, things are looking a lot more like a demilitarized zone.
"Everybody is going to go through a magnetometer, everybody's going to go through their bags, they're going to go through an X-ray device or some type of screening device," said Bongino.
Despite media reports that Trump wants to keep his own private security team in charge, Bongino insists it's not going to happen.
"I'm telling you with a hundred-percent certainty from absolutely unimpeachable sources within the Secret Service: There is no private security," said Bongino.
Threats to the president and the nation are a cold hard reality. But Dr. White assures us the United States intelligence community is the largest and most dynamic in the world.
"We should feel safe that our security apparatus is working for us, and we must continue to live our lives knowing that there are people out there that are securing our homeland," said White. "I think we have to be careful in that we don't create a panic where there's not one needed."