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tv   The Presidency Secret Service Protection  CSPAN  January 1, 2021 3:04pm-4:01pm EST

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>> if you like american history tv fol row us on facebook, twitter and youtube. learn about what happened this day in history and see preview clips of upcoming programs. follow us at c-span history. next on the presidency, former secret service agents talk about protecting the first family and the challenges they face. speakers include larry boondorf who made an assassination attempt on gerald ford, 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 it is so nice to have smu president dr. gerald turner and his wife gayle with us here tonight. we are grateful to all of our board members in attendance. knowing our panelists who will be out here in a minute and one of those is those engaged
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programs that is both informative and highly entertaining and these guys know how to tell a story and it's 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. we're honored to be joined tonight by three former secret service]0pj#y agents whose comb years of service almost approach 82 years. privileged to have larry boondorf with us, 22 years of the secret service and for his role in stopping the assassination attempt on president gerald ford in september 1957 in sacramento. later, larry served 25 years as security chief with the united states olympic committee. joe clancy is with us tonight. joe served on the protective details of four presidents including president bush, our trailblazer as he would have called him by the secret service name and mrs. bush was tempo.
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his 30-year career with the service culminated in 2013 when president obama named joe the 24th director of the secret service so he was in charge. today joe is the chief security officer at comcast corporation. nick trata is with us. nick served 30 years in the secret service. helped protect five presidents including president trump. worked on large-scale events such as world leader summits and post 9/11 they traveled with president bush including secret trips from iraq and afghanistan that you'll hear tonight. if nick looks familiar, you talk about being on the field at yankee stadium as president trump threw out the first pitch before game three of the 2001 world series, what a moment. also pleased to have us as moderator, the former deputy assistant to the president for operations and advance at the white house under president bush and in that roll spence oversaw
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the integration of dozens of military you are skecurity and operational agencies all involved in presidential travel including the u.s. secret service. today it's the global director of business development for show call inc., a production company. we had planned to have with us tonight, we had kathleen flatly and due to a health issue, kathleen is not able to be here. i let's welcome spence and our panelists on to the stage. [ applause ]panelists on to the. [ applause ] >> well, thank you all. we have a fantastic program for you tonight and some really
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interesting information on the secret service and how it runs and a lot of back stories that you'll find fascinating. so let's get started. joe, director clancy, i should say. as a former director of the secret service, can you set the scene with sort of the history of the secret service because it wasn't always about protection. >> that's correct, spence. first, i have to say as we're sitting here it's unusual for agents to be sitting on stage. typically w typically we're stage left or stage right and we're talking into our sleeves and talking to, any sudden movements might create, and we already noticed a couple of people didn't applaud when we walked in. the history of the secret service, it's a tremendous history over 150 years. it started april 14 of 1865, civil war. there's a lot of counter
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currency and the treasury secretary went into abraham lincoln in the morning of april 14th, 1865 and so we've got this c rampant, and the go-ahead to start a new agency which was the secret service and he had his orders and that night president lincoln went to forbes theater and we all know what happened at ford's theater. from there we continued to do investigations as we say throughout our history, we've gone from the paper investigations and the counterfeit currency which we still investigate to the plastic credit card investigations which we still do and the digital cyberworld which we are one of the best in the world at that, as well, but most people think of the secret service when you think of the protection assignment, the protection mentioned when they get the secret service and in 1901 after
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president mckinley's assassination that's when we started protecting presidents and a couple of years later we got funding from congress to do that and it just continued to progress with taking on candidates after robert kennedy's assassination and we started taking on heads of state to children, wives spouses of protectees, and we'll get into some of that as we go through the program. >> can you talk a little bit about beltsville and the training academy in belts vel, the thirt number -- we had twoir kind ats. >> right. how much manpower will that file. every season is a xhchallenge f the secret service and it's a tremendous challenge for the men
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and women in the secret service and to their credit they do a marvelous job in my view and when you look at the history of this country, most of those world events the secret service was behind the scenes allowing those events to take place. and a lot of it has to do with our training. we've got a terrific training facility in bellsville raining and that we have's training that has event. >> i think you have video, and you see them in nice suits and their earpiece in, but you never see their weapons. here is the got ophoto of a lon that's out. can you charles what happened here? >> i remember president bush was coming back from a visit and we came back from the white house and typically once you get inside the gates of the white house there is a sense of relief that you've accomplished your mission and there's a little bit
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of a deep breath, but just as we're pulling up to the oval office area where the president gets out and you've seen it many times in the president where he'll walk up up to the colonnade and the oval office. we got news that there was a fence jumper and it was over on the east part of the complex by the treasury building and i was sitting in the front seat of the limousine and i had to turn to president bush and said we have a fence jumper and we'll have to sit here in the vehicle for a few minutes until we get this issue resolve. he said a fence jumper? where? a fence jumper and he started looking behind him and looking through. i was kind of glad for that response, but then after a few seconds go on and he can't see the fence jumper and i'm not hearing it's all clear and he said joe, i've got to get to work and i've got to get in to the oval office. it took about three minutes and
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all of that time i knew the uniformed officers and the age notes were going to get this individual, and i was confident that we would stay in an armored vehicle. you don't know when someone jumps the fence, i had confidence that we would get him and we did in a matter of seconds and then i opened doot are and let president bush out. from the event he's smirking because he knew i was sweating through my suit because we were holding him in the car. >> for those of you who don't know president bush, he likes to run on time and doesn't like to wait very often. >> larry, in 1975, you saved president ford's life. tell us that story. i think we have a video we'll show you of the attempted assassination attempt and then you can talk us through that day. >> okay. it was mid-morning in sacramento when president ford walked over to the state capital in the
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state's legislature. this was part of the -- so he shaked hands, working the crowd as politicians say. it was a 14edly crowd accompanied by aides and secret service agents the company reached for every hand in sight aides and secret service agents the company reached for every hand in sight.r crowd accompaniy aides and secret service agents the company reached for every hand in sight.i crowd accompani by aides and secret service agents the company reached for every hand in sight.e crowd acc by aides and secret service agents the company reached for every hand in sight.n crowd accd by aides and secret service agents the company reached for every hand in sight.d crowd accompanied by aides and secret service agents the company reached for every hand in sight accompanied by aides and secret >> suddenly a young lady holding a gun appeared at the president's side and a secret service agent moved her to the ground and moved him swiftly to the capital. >> and there you are apprehending the would-be assassin. >> the first thing i should have had was a haircut. it was back in the '70s. the least that's what my mother said when she heard about it, but i was working the morning shift and the president was
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scheduled to speak at the capitol and he walks out of the hotel and the motorcade is there as scheduled. a large crowd across the street. so he walks out and it's a nice day in california. he said it's nice to walk and the capitol building was right there and he had a scramble with agents and the police and trying to move the crowd in the right direction. so there's a pathway and to move the crowd across one side of the sidewalk and as he walked along he could shake hands. >> my position at the time was right at his left shoulder. so as he's walking along shaking hands i'm concentrating on his hands kind of in a downward motion because he doesn't want to have anybody grab too long or whatever, so i'm kind of looking down. out in the crowd is a member of the carly mans an family,
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lynnette, "squeaky romm romm, and she was back a couple of people in the crowd as he's shaking hand asks suddenly i see this hand come up with something in it and it wasn't -- at that time i didn't know it was a weapon, but i stepped in front of the president to stop the hand from coming up, because i didn't want him to get hit with whatever it was. the minute i hit it, i knew it was a gun. i yelled out "gun." all of my very best friends that are with the president, they leave with the president. [ laughter ] trained well. part of our training program. you're on your own, buddy. [ laughter ] >> she's screaming and the crowd is screaming and i got a hold of her hand and i got the gun, and i've got the gun here, pushing. >> another thing, mr. director, i didn't have my vest on, so i'm thinking that i don't know if
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there's more to this, but i know i'm not letting go of her and the a he's got a gun bee then the president's gone with the agents? agents and place with the guy came forward and i perceived to from seeded to cuff her as you see and once she was cuffed i turned her over to the agent from the intelligence division and the police went back and rejoinedand once she was cuffedd her over to the agent from the intelligence division and the police went back and rejoined the shift. it was fast and furious and you think about how fast it went down. i can't tell you. [ applause ]
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>> she said it didn't go off. i did grab it and it cut my hand, and i, for month, i kept jabbing the wound to make sure it would stay open say i can say, you see this? >> it healed way too fast. it was just a little cut, but anyhow, i think she might have been pulling back and i stopped the slide. if she had a round chambered it would have gone through me and the president because as i said, i didn't have a vest on. interesting thing, when we got back to air force one and i got pulled off to remain in sacramento to be interviewed by the fbi who takes jurisdiction once we have an attempt like that, and mrs. ford was there waiting and she'd gone in the other direction. so when he boarded the plane he
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said she turned to him and said well, how was your day, mr. president? not so good. >> well, i know the country is better for your duty th day and taking care of our president. september 11, 2001, is a day that changed our country forever. can you, nick and joe, walk us through that day. talk to us about sort of the fog of that day and trying to determine who is trying to decapitate the leadership of the country and sort of how you dealt with it throughout the day. >> it's one ever those moments in history that everyone can pretty much identify and recall where you were that day. for some reason i had come in early that morning. the president, i didn't accompany him. i waited for the president to return. so for whatever reason i went to the white house early that morning. i was actually working out and had espn on, and watching whatever sports highlights and then i saw the first plane just
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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 it took some time to see what was happening. we wanted to get her away from the capitol. we had known that there were three planes down and the pentagon -- the plane had just hit the pentagon and i decided to go and connect with mrs. bush as we re-located here from the capital. i, at that time, as was mentioned earlier in the green room there were about six planes that were still unidentified at the time after the plane hitting the pentagon, and it was a challenging day because the united states hadn't been attacked, you know, since pearl harbor and you look at the oklahoma bombing, but in this
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case here we had the president in florida who wanted to come back. you have the first lady who wanted to be teamed up with her husband. so communication, we restricted communication because of the nature of what was happening and then the president was relocated to louisiana as everyone got to see, and it took some time. the president wanted to come back. we weren't sure what was happening yet. the airspace was controlled and then it wasn't until later on in the evening that the decision was made by the president that if 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's your recollection of that day? >> i actually was in japan. >> i was with the secretary of treasury o'neal and we had arrived from china to japan and it was at 9:00 in the evening and i said good night, mr.
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secretary and went to my room and turned on the tv and saw the aircraft crashing into the world trade center. went down to secretary o'neal and said i don't think he'd seen it just yet, but then we immediately tried to get an aircraft back home to the states, but as we all know, all of the aircraft were grounded and 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 respect to the development of the department of homeland security and 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 the deficiencies that were uncovered and how the department of homeland security came about. >> sure, it developed after 9/11 and at the time the secret service was under the department of u.s. treasury. you had other entities, and the
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alcohol, to be ask firearms, and law enforcement and the intelligence community were in different agencies. u.s. coast guard was under transportation, and it wasn't until dhs had put it all under one roof and where you had all of the law enforcement outside of those in the department of justice. so you had this -- and it took some time. there was growing pains with it just like anything else, but it was one of those moments in history when you see that the department was created. everyone was under one roof and we were able to communicate, we were able to share a bit, let's say, a bit better than previous, and then it was getting. it was as you mentioned earlier, how does the country move
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forward. >> right. >> after such a tragic event like that and let alone the new creation of the department of defense were doing and other men and women across the whole to strengthen and make the homeland safe? but it was then the president and first lady had to move and get the folks moving. if thee he just stayed in the white house, folks in d.c. would not go out. those in the country were affected and it was right here at home and when you talk to the folks up in new york that lived it, it was getting country back. so then it was creating those movements. >> yeah. i think a lot of you will remember just a few days after there were a couple of things and it was a few days after the attack at the world trade center and president bush went to new york city and stood on the
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rubble pile and that's where the famous video, if you've toured the museum, you see the bullhorn that he actually gave those remarks from. so it was that, going to new york immediately after 9/11 and really sort of letting the american people know that we're going to move forward as a country and we'll get through this and an even bigger, ve eve and we have a picture, mlb had debated whether they should call it off or delay and talk to us about that event because that was -- i think this was one of the sam noll, vents in president bush's precedensidency that rea unified the country. >> the back story, prior to if you remember, the president was hosting his -- a strategy meeting at camp david shortly after, and we were departing going to camp david, and i was accompanying the president on the trip, and as the president,
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marine one was on the south grounds and the press were on the south grounds of the white house and not sure why, instead of going over to marine one he singled me over and i'm not sure if he was calling me over or someone behind me and i didn't want to turn around because of all of the press and he had come over and he said, guess what? we're going to the world series. yankee stadium. and i went, what? [ laughter ] but that's how he was. he brought everyone -- he just calmed the whole situation down. it was a stressful period, and i was in shock. we're getting ready to go to camp david, but he just calmed everyone down by nick, nicky, we're going yankee stadium and the world series and i forgot they were in the world series and we would tease each other as a yankee fan, but as we prepared to go, new york city, we had all
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forces to assist. all of the resources, and those that get a chance to watch the espn documentary will see just the behind the scenes, the stress and the buildup and everyone in the stadium had been gone through metal detectors and i think billy crystal was very clear that hey, if i have to get through the world series and go through metal detectors we're going to do it. >> it was a unique time. the planning was, you know, it was difficult because -- it was an extremely stressful period and you have the world series and major league going on, you have them going to the field to the mound to throw out the first pitch and it's the new york city
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support and the other federal parters? made the a vent. >> the planning of him to go to the mound. he went all of the way out to the mound without security right around him and all of that was possible because of the planning. tell us a little bit about where agents were and -- >> yeah. so the baseball fans picked up right away on it because during the world series you have two extra umpires. there was an extra one. >> an extra extra one. >> but again, just as in the incident with larry and you had the agents with the assassination with president ford and as you said they all left him. the agents are to respond to get him protected out of the way and here again, a unique situation.
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it was a -- it was just a -- the planning that had gone in between him going to the mound whether or not he was actually going to, you know, stay for part of the game, stay for the game, where he would sit. so there was a lot that had gone in, and we had excellent support and the resources were tremendous and we had the umpires and we had such airspace, of course, was covered. and tremendously access and made it a big point. >> the mound at yankee stadium was the safest place in the world. >> safest place in the world. >> joe, can you talk us to. i'm going to meander all around with different topics. tell us a little bit about how the secret service protects the children of the first family and
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sort of what goes in to that and the delicacies of it and sort of how you handle that because i know it's a difficult situation sometimes. >> it can be because the secret service, of course, wants to protect the children, but you also want to make sure they have as best as possible a normal life and that's very hard when you're in this bubble and i realize that. my direct exposure to that was more with mrs. obama and i remember sitting down with mrs. obama and it was the first time i sat down with her at length and it was all about mrs. obama wanted her kids to have a normal life going to school plays and going to school, going to basketball games and so on and so forth, and i wanted to make sure she knew that we had the same goals and it's -- as kids get older and in their teen years it's more challenging because as you can imagine, no teenager wants guys like me
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looking me coming out on a date. that's always a balance and you want to do the best you can and that they're in a safe environment. >> a successful part of any successful presidency requires foreign policy and foreign travel. can you -- and this is for the panel, maybe, joe, you can start out with thoughts on it, but traveling, taking the president overseas, he doesn't fly on a commercial plane and go out to hertz and get a car and go off to meetings. there's a tremendous amount of planning and it's staggering and you'd be shocked to know how many planes full of equipment and materials go overseas any time the president travels. did y can you talk us to about it? >> you're right, spence. when the president travels overseas you're moving the white house to that country and with that, the limb sceousines and yn fit six to eight cars on the
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aircraft and you can fit helicopters on these aircraft. so everything moves in this foreign country, but one of the biggest, beyond the logistics, the challenge is in the work and so you're relying on those foreign countries to do what you want and there's a lot of negotiating back and forth and nudging back and forth because you know what you want and what you need to have a safe environment, but we don't always get to that point. >> and so reciprocity is a big part of it when you're negotiating for whether you can carry your weapons in a foreign country or not and whether we could fight on whether we account fly marine one. talk to us about how you negotiate and hopefully when their leader comes to the states it's an even exchange. >> yeah. so -- we have a good video we'll
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show you in a minute about how there was a negotiation and then there's an even exchange. >> they would go out, roughly 15 or sometimes 20 days depending on the nature of the visit and the type of summit. but you know, again, a lot of these leaders are coming here to the united states, but we hold a pretty firm requirement. we're not going to allow the president and the first lady to be unescorted. and the advanced teams have to push on it and sometimes we have to get the political folks and the ambassadors and the chiefs of staff and the white house advance team to negotiate, you know, our requirements because when you get into a summit and you get to see the video later and you get into a summit, there's 20 counterparts or 20 counterparts of security and what are you doing with all of these security folks, but as joe was saying, it's the cars.
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it's food, it's medical supply it ises and it's the whole white house are regardless of the length of time that the president is traveling. so there's an entire package that goes with this, let alone the cars and then you have all of the spares and you look at the aircrafts and as joe said, marine one. so you have to have these backup plans and all of the medical. so it is a big footprint, but it's not just about evacuating the president and the first lady in a threat. it's also allowing the president to fulfill the president's duties to run the country and govern the united states, and wherever the president is, that machine follows and we're part of that along with the military and the medical unit so that the president can fulfill his duties as the chief executor.
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>> the president can literally do anything in a foreign country that he could do at the white house. every piece of technology equipment and personnel and resources that he has when he's on a foreign trip. let's run the video because we have an interesting video of a foreign trip to chile. you want to narrate this, nick? >> this was an asia-pacific summit. so it is 30 countries and the countries that touch the pacific ocean and the president and first lady had just arrived, but prior to that, the chilean his taken the secret service advanced agent away from the site. so we had a slight delay, but at this point i thought it was okay to go, so we left. the president and first lady, we talked about it as we went and i stayed back to allow the press to take the photograph with the
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first lady along with the first lady of chile and the press started closing in behind the president and he now hears me yelling. [ laughter ] so he was i was fortunate because -- [ laughter ] [ applause ] >> so it was like moses parting the water. and the first lady is here so she can attest to -- they were moment because this was like a game, right? it's like the security part is -- you know, it's a dangerous game and we're maintaining the prize. we have the president, and at that moment i actually thought today was the day because i was
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the only foreign security allowed inside and i thought that today was a day that they were hitting me and no one has ever done that before. they were grabbing my arms and i was yelling, get your hands off of me and what are you doing? i'm right-handed and my weapon is on my right side and that's where they were hitting me and it was con feudifusing and then doors were closing which was definitely a concern. so as i got pushed my way 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 and they formed this wall ask th wall and then the president, as are like moses, came and parted the water. >> and the white house advance team worked it out to ensure that the secret service was going to have the representative in with the president and accompanied the president and
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first lady at all times. >> and then something broke down, and it broke down just ten minutes prior to departure, and then we were able to get the agent back, but then spence, if you remember, 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, we were waiting, that's when they brought the individual back. so even though last minute things change and they have this agreement. >> i remember the trip and the president's last trip to china was for the olympics and i'd made two or three trips to china prior to negotiate with a pre-advanced team to have passes and permits and vehicle plaquers
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and we were onary air force one. >> one thing toa ad to that. it's not that the united states -- it's not that, you know, we're top of tops and we want to be the rulers. we recognize and so do our counterparts from the forieign countries that whoever the president is brings in the highest threat against the u.s. president and they recognize that. however, at these summits and whether it's the g-8 or the g-20 or in this case the asia pacific where there's 30 heads of state there are 30 detail leaders, but again, the white house with support of the white house, think, and ensure and hold that where the president and and first lady are never uners
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escort. they do bring that part with that and they don't bring that footprint. spence, you worked this, and foreign governments don't come with that big machine. >> when i had mentioned reciprocity earlier, we try and give them everything that we've asked for in their country. >> absolutely. we give it to them when they come on trips. >> i want to make one comment. you saw president bush's support, and i would say there was another event where there was a state dinner planned, and we noticed when we were doing the advance that magnetometers were not in place at this white house in the foreign country and nobody was checking for weapons, and nick was my supervisor at the time and my boss and i called back and said, nick, my recommendation is we don't go because we can't vouch for 250 people unmagged and eventually it went to the deputy chief of
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staff at the time and the end result was they scrapped the state dinner which, we of course, never want to be in that position because there's a lot of political ramifications here, but it showed a support that president bush had for the security here and eventually 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 -- let's move to post-presidency. larry, you ran president ford's detail and you were with his detail in post-presidency. talk to us about that and 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 that -- how difficult it is to cover a former president, like i had former president ford and mrs. ford, seven months in vail. five months in vail and seven
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months in palm springs. [ laughter ] it was very, very, very stressful. it's much different with a former president. you want to make sure you no longer have a military plane, air force one, so you have to make sure you have your american airlines mileage card because you're going to spend a lot of time traveling with the former president and mrs. ford. it is a little different because you are on a public plane. they want to greet him. president ford had a great system. he would get on the plane and fly in first class and that made me -- i had to fly in first, too. but he would go on the inside seat. i'd be on the aisle. he'd immediately go to sleep, so to speak and people would come by and go, you know -- and they would go by, but he was both he
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and mrs. ford were just spectacular to work for, and you know, he was great on the golf course. bob hope made jokes about him and bob hope said he was the only president that could play two golf courses simultaneously. [ laughter ] >> and the jokes kept going on and on, but a very gracious couple, and it was a privilege to be on their detail. >> great. nick, let's you and i had the privilege to do a couple of secret trips. >> joe, you were on them, as well. talk to us about what it takes to plan a secret trip by a sitting president to a foreign country without anybody knowing? >> well, finding out on the first one there was a lot of drama, think, and had gotten called in and there was only a few of us that were told of it
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and we had gone to a room to get the briefing and i actually remember, you know, it's in all of the history books in one of the rooms below ground and it's a long table, and i remember at the end of the table there were only about five of us in the room, mr. hagen and i remember a tray of chocolate chip cookies at the end that weren't for us and i remember dr. hagen coming in and saying what i'm about to tell you is coming from the president and it's not negotiable. the president will go to baghdad, and i'm not sure why, but i kind of shot up and went what? what? no, and i went right for those cookies and i unraveled and started eating them, and i looked at the director and realized i was an adult and was supposed to have some responsibility so i went back, but then from that moment forward we had five days to plan for this trip, and it wasn't just taking a sitting president into a war zone.
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it was secretly doing it. the white house or any place, the ranch in this place where we left from, it's not set up to sneak the president out especially when we did the second ones at the white house and mrs. bush will recall on the second one when the president -- i went up early in the morning and he had his sunglasses and ball cap on and maria said he was in the hallway, and i took a peek and barney was there and ms. beazley and i said we're ready and i said the glasses? and he said -- and i went, and he said -- you said we're sneaking out. i don't want barney to know. [ laughter ] and i wanted to say just get in the elevator, but he actually said in the elevator, nick, you know, chill, and i went i don't know if i could do more of these because this was the second one.
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the planning was when you're secretly doing it, there were secret service people, we couldn't share information with let alone fix on the detail and it was a -- it wasn't a want to know, it was a need to know. we had to safely, successfully take the president out so that the president could fulfill his mission. did i want him to go there? of course not, but that's not what we're all about and the president was adamant when we went there and spence, as you know, we agreed to three hours on the ground which we got about three and a half or four, but the president was clear that he was going to serve every thanksgiving meal to every soldier and it was a moving moment and then he met with some of the leaders in the community and that was the photo you're seeing now. >> that's in the chow hall. >> in the chow hall, but you're also not telling the military and air force one, colonel tillman did an outstanding job of taking this aircraft, changed
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the codes as he's talked about. flew without the call signs and arriving in a country, not only where the men and women in awe when they saw the president, but other folks on the ground had no clue. it was a team effort, but only five days. >> five days and literally 99.9% of the white house staff did not know. most of the secret service agents that were not on the detail involved in it did not know. members of the president's family probably did not know. they were sneaking the president out of the white house. if any of you have been to washington you know tourists are everywhere. you can't just drive him out. so there was a lot that went in to getting him out of there and getting him to andrews aboard the plane and then having the plane take off and then fly all of the way to iraq without another airliner passing it in the sky and saying there goes air force one and that's
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happened. >> that happens. >> the first one, if you remember, we had left crawford and we had a switch in the hanger at andrews because they had to leave with a full tank of gas and we flew direct. >> joe, do you have some -- during nick's time i was with the white house branch, so i was just involved in helping him get out of the white house complex, but then years later president obama went over on one of those missions and fortunately, i had the experience from watching nick and how his team worked it and the one rule was that if it leaked out we would not do all of the stops. we would limit the time on the ground and as we were leaving turkey to go to iraq, it did leak out. so witness again, you're in a position where you have to make a recommendation which you know ñ popular, but the recommendation was we just go to the military base and there were a lot of discussions about it, but once again, at that point
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the obama administration, was there a big discussion on air force one and they were supportive and it means a lot to the agents, of course, when you get that kind of support. >> can i cut in for a second? >> go ahead. >> on that trip what joe didn't mention, george was special agent in charge of mr. obama and we were leaving from istanbul to go to afghanistan. it was a secret trip. they were planning the trip, but prior to departing the last venue in istanbul, as joe said, 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 were extending it and joe was holding firm. he wouldn't say that so i'm going to embarrass him and it's an important point because it shows the relationship, regardless of what you see in the newspapers the relationship
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of the president and the first lady is tremendous because they recognize and they support. in this particular case, and i was present for it, the president had his the schedule? and they were given this long, long -- we're going to do this and extend and extend. he looked at the joe -- president obama looked at joe, saw, obviously, he wasn't 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 said -- we went to the cars. and the decision was made regardless of the senior staff. he relied on joe. >> yeah. let's talk -- yes, thanks. [ applause ] here at the bush sistcenter, ths a new exhibit, away from the white house. let's talk about where our
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presidents go when they're not staying in the white house. so let's cover their prievate residences, where they go, and maybe a little bit about camp david. larry? >> well, we went to vail. the hard part was, when he was in office, was the -- as you said, sometimes, two, three weeks out ahead. i was a skier, still am, i think. but -- so the advanced team would have to go out for two weeks ahead of the president to vail for mountain familiarization. this required us getting up at the crack of down to ski fresh powder and familiarize ourselves with all the runs to make sure that there was no one hiding in the trees, et cetera.
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but it was a pretty interesting operation that we moved about the mountain in such a way. there we are. great outfit, larry. but we moved about the mountain without people being able to trail us. and we would go into a ski line. we would go through the line. we would be up the mountain, down a run, and gone. and so we were able to move about without interrupting the normal ski days of everyone else. so it worked out pretty well. >> talk to us -- go ahead. >> with that, what's important is, again, the first families are trying to live a normal life in this, you know, bubble. as larry said about seeing, the secret service has to take this private nature when they go into this public nature, president
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bush 41, what did he not do, right? boats, water. president bush running, biking and president clinton, president bush, president obama, all the other, you know, activities, so the secret service had to train agents on horseback and u.s. park police played a tremendous role. because it's about how to evacuate the president and first lady while they're on horseback? how about getting to them in water safety, in boat patrol. president bush, i remember being at the bunk port, and the press would be around there and he would say, how many fish did you catch? and he would say with all these boats, it's scaring all the fish away. >> for those of you who may have read books about president bush
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41, he would drive that thing at full throttle. talk to us a little bit about the training. because we're sort of making light of it. but it is serious. they have to learn to mountain bike. president bush mountain bikes on his ranch in crawford and he's a serious mountain biker. and you have to be able to keep up with him. >> before the mountain bike was the running. before the campaign he averaged around -- which was a 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 the three-mile race, ran a 6:40 pace for 3 miles. but at the ranch and wherever he ran, he was averaging about a 7:10 pace. just the training of that alone, the agents with 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, neither did he when he
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created it. he formed this 100-degree club which later went to his mountain bike. it's -- you could start out thinking that, you're in pretty good 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. you're 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 with kennebunkport, their home was surrounded by three sides of water. the u.s. coast guard, we had a great partnership with the coast guard and the coast guard assisted. but the secret service agents had to prepare water, in water safety, boat handling, boat safety on how to extract a president from the water. but it's not just hee low lift from the water, it was putting
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him in a boat and bringing him to shore. we had to get armored vehicles aligned. and we had these imaginary lines -- the smart ones figured out how to divide up the atlantic ocean and if the president and -- we have mark lowry who was the on the detail with us and former agent in charge here in dallas. you recall kennebunkport. we would have to move the cars and get ready to receive the president if he had to come on shore. so the president would crossover this imaginary line and you were with the first lady, you spent the time with tranquility with barbara bush, and we would move -- the presidents in the zone and we would move the cars. we would wait ten minutes and then we start moving cars around again. and it was -- you know, it was -- it was training voflinvo with it. and you're disrupting the town also. but all of that comes down to, spence, as you said earlier, as
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we started and joe talked about training, it call comes down to training. and a successful training was the successful attempt that larry prevented. >> let's talk about that in closing. let's talk about how you're trained to make a split-second decision. oftentimes, you know, it's just -- you have zero -- you have to react. how are you trained to do that? >> well -- >> go ahead, joe. why don't you start. >> 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 would talk about his experience in 1981 during the reagan assassination attempt and most of you have seen the video of that. look at tim mccarthy when the first shot rang out, tim turned around and made himself big.
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that's not a natural instinct when you hear a gunshot to make yourself big, it's usually to cover yourself. but he made himself big to protect the president and that's from repetitive training that our training staff would do so well. >> and sometimes with all of the greatest security, the most trained personnel, the best equipment, sometimes the president just has to take matters into his own hands. in baghdad, he had to fulfill the texas shoe step here. he was pretty quick. this concludes our presentation. [ applause ]
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thank you very much for having us. we really enjoyed being here. >> if you don't mind, we all felt very honored to be invited down here today and we had fun telling stories and all. we certainly thank the bush family, the extended bush family for all they've done for the secret service over years. but when you go -- and we told some stories here tonight. when you go to the bush library and see the enormity of what they've done for this country, it just makes you very proud. mrs. bush, thank you. >> thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you to spence, joe, nick and larry for a fantastic program. i told you it would be informative and entertaining and they delivered as we knew they would. tonight you'll be exiting through the museum. take a few minutes to stop by and visit our new special exhibit, presidential retreats which will be open until 8:15. tickets are available at
4:00 pm for our next lecture. dana p da dana pireno. thank you and have a good evening. [ applause ] ♪ you're watching american history tv. all weekend every weekend on c-span3. the environmental protection agency was founded 50 years ago on december 7th, 1970. up next a 1982 pbs documentary about air pollution regulation in the national parks. it talks about the three-year process of turning language into specific regulations revealing behind-the-scenes negotiations and debates between epa regulators and environmental and industry


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