Secret Service Detains Driver of Press Van After Gun Discovered

Prior to the incident, President Donald Trump stayed out of media's sight for nearly 60 hours
February 19, 2018 Updated: February 21, 2018

The Secret Service briefly detained a contracted driver of one of the vans carrying press, after a gun was found in his bag, outside of the Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where President Donald Trump was staying.

The driver, as well as two other contracted drivers, were immediately replaced following the incident. The vans carrying press reporters are normally part of the official motorcade, giving them particularly privileged access to the president.

According to reporters at the scene, the incident took place about one hour before the president’s motorcade left the Mar-a-Lago resort for Trump International Golf Club at 8:55 a.m. on Feb. 19.

Before the incident took place, the president had been out of sight from the press for nearly 60 hours.

While it is not uncommon for the press pool traveling with Trump to not see him for half a day, it is highly unusual for them to go several days without catching even a glimpse of him.

Pool reporters had last seen the president on Feb. 16, during a meeting he had with law enforcement officers.

Then the president was spotted again by Palm Beach Post reporter George Bennett close to 11 a.m. on Feb. 19, several hours after the gun had been found by the Secret Service.

While it is unclear if the two events were related, the absence of the president from public view raises the question of whether Secret Service and other intelligence agencies tasked with keeping Trump safe had picked up on communications involving a potential threat to him regarding the driver of the press van, and whether he was kept out of sight from the media for this reason.

 

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