According to reports in multiple publications, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi never contacted the agencies in charge of security for the State of the Union Address before she wrote a letter to President Donald Trump, asking him to cancel it.
The Daily Caller reported that, “Multiple DHS officials and Secret Service veterans have said that Pelosi is not being truthful in her claim that Secret Service is incapable of protecting the president during the State of the Union.”
The publication also received a statement from Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino who told them 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.
According to The New York Post, both the Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security said that they can handle security at trump’s State of the Union.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen tweeted her own contradiction of Pelosi’s claim:
“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.”
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.
— Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen (@SecNielsen) January 16, 2019
In her letter, Pelosi stated that “since the start of modern budgeting in Fiscal Year 1977, a State of the Union address has never been delivered during a government shutdown.”
The current shutdown has now garnered the distinction of the longest shutdown in United States history, and one that has shown no signs of ending in the near future.
The speaker went on to say that, “in September 2018, Secretary Nielsen designated States of the Union Addresses as National Special Security Events.”
“The extraordinary demands presented by NSSE’s require weeks of detailed planning with dozens of agencies working together to prepare for the safety of all participants.”
Pelosi went on to say that the Secret Service was the designated lead agency for coordination and Security, “However, both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security 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 the 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.”