The History of the Waldorf Astoria and Securing the President

Donald Trump reportedly said that, as president, he'll spend three days a week in New York City, away from the White House. The security measures alone would be enormous.

"The cost of securing the president in New York City is astounding," Glenn said Monday on his radio program.

However, expensive measures are nothing new when it comes to securing and shielding the president of the United States.

An underground train depot --- Track 61 --- was secretly built under the Waldorf Astoria Hotel for President Franklin Roosevelt and other VIPs to move in and out of the city as discreetly as possible. Primarily a mechanism to hide FDR's disability from the public, the secret station also provided a way to quickly remove him in the event of a crisis.

Read below or watch the clip for answers to these questions:

• What would be the impact on regular citizens if Trump stayed in the city three days a week?

• Why did Track 61 use a dual train system for President Roosevelt?

• Did Donald Trump once request a no-fly zone over his Mar-a-Lago property?

• Is Track 61 still in use today?

Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:

GLENN: Have you guys heard that Donald Trump has said that he's going to spend three days a week in New York away from the White House? That can't be. You can't secure the Trump Tower. How?

PAT: It's in the middle of Manhattan. I don't know how you --

GLENN: It's a big glass building in the middle of Manhattan.

PAT: Yeah. Yeah, I don't know how they do that.

GLENN: On Fifth Avenue.

PAT: First of all, it would shut down New York.

GLENN: It would shut down Fifth Avenue. At least that block of Fifth Avenue.

PAT: Look what happened every time Obama came to --

GLENN: It was a nightmare. It was a nightmare.

PAT: Oh, my gosh. It was horrific

STU: The expense -- I mean, seriously, in less than one day, he would spend all the money he's saving on his salary. And it would be like an hour of security.

GLENN: Yeah. No. It's -- to get the president in and out of New York -- first of all, underneath the Waldorf-Astoria, they still -- it's my understanding, they still have the dual train engines waiting for him.

So underneath the Waldorf-Astoria, which is where President Roosevelt selected, there is a train station. It's right -- it's right on the way to Grand Central Station. And you have two engines. Two full train engines, locomotives. And every 45 minutes one is powered down as the other one powers up.

So you have to -- so they don't overheat, you have to have two of them. Every 45 minutes, switching which one is -- which one is running. And it has to run all the time. And it is a special track just for the president. In case there's a problem, you get him to the Waldorf-Astoria. You get him down to the train tracks. And he's thrown on one of those trains, and it takes off.

And that's just one of the escape routes for the president.

JEFFY: Right.

GLENN: I mean, the cost of securing the president in New York City is astounding. And, you know, here's the other thing: Donald Trump has got to be loving this. When he bought Mar-a-Lago, he didn't like the fact that planes were flying over Mar-a-Lago, and so he told the airport he wanted the flight pattern changed. And they all said, "Who do you think you are?"

JEFFY: There's been an ongoing lawsuit.

GLENN: Yeah. They weren't ever go to go change it. And they were really angry at him, that he would have the balls to say that. Now, he can say, "I'm the president of the United States. You're changing the flight plan."

JEFFY: Yeah. Pretty much they have to.

PAT: Well, I think Secret Service --

GLENN: Yeah, I'm sure it's already done.

PAT: The Secret Service will do that. Yeah. So he got it done.

GLENN: Yeah, it's already done.

So now he's got his land value back.

JEFFY: This is the only reason he ran for president.

(laughter)

GLENN: Oh, man -- think of -- think of the rental property -- the rentals after he's president. Think of how much Trump Tower is worth now --

JEFFY: It doesn't matter. He said --

GLENN: It used to be the -- the New York White House during the Trump administration.

JEFFY: He said in the 60 Minute interview last night that occupancy rates doesn't matter to him. Any of that, it doesn't matter to him.

GLENN: Oh, I would move out of Trump Tower now, if he was going to live there. Because of just the hassle. Even if I was the biggest fan in the world, oh, my gosh, I'm not having my building shut down over and over and over again because of Secret Service. That's going to be a hassle for all of those people that paid a lot of money to live in Trump Tower.

PAT: Yeah.

[break]

GLENN: Just looking at the pictures of the train depot underneath Waldorf-Astoria. Apparently --

JEFFY: A lot of cobwebs?

GLENN: Apparently they don't do that anymore. Which is good news. I can't imagine what that cost.

PAT: They don't do that anymore.

GLENN: But it shows the empty train tracks and one of the cars that is still sitting there.

PAT: Well, since --

GLENN: That's a good thing. This was built for FDR for -- because he didn't want to show his disability.

PAT: And it was back in the day when the Waldorf-Astoria was somebody.

GLENN: The Waldorf-Astoria is the -- is the place that is still the place that the president goes to stay. Now, that will change with Trump Tower. But Barack Obama --

STU: Really?

GLENN: Yeah.

PAT: Obama stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria?

GLENN: Yeah.

PAT: Did he really?

GLENN: Yeah. Waldorf-Astoria. So did George Bush. So did Bill Clinton.

PAT: Wow. Somebody needs to introduce these guys to a nice hotel.

(laughter)

GLENN: It was the one built at the time -- oh, I'm sorry, the Waldorf is so horrible.

PAT: Come on, you know better than that. You know the Waldorf is not what it once was.

GLENN: It's a Hilton. No, it's a Hilton.

PAT: It's a Hilton hotel now.

GLENN: But the Waldorf has other sections of it. It's a very large hotel.

PAT: Yeah, that's true.

STU: I was surprised, one of our recent business trips, we went up there --

JEFFY: You didn't stay in the special section, Pat?

PAT: No.

STU: So we'll go up there and there will be like -- we usually will all like book maybe, you know, potentially in the same hotel. Or someone will book it for us. It was a last-minute trip that we had to take. So I went on Orbitz or something and just tried to book a hotel. And the Waldorf-Astoria popped up as one of the cheapest ones --

GLENN: It's huge. It's huge.

STU: Yeah. Yeah, I guess that's why.

GLENN: It's got tons of empty rooms. Because it's huge.

PAT: Did you wind up staying there, Stu? Did you wind up staying there?

STU: Yeah, I did.

PAT: Was the room extraordinary, like wow, the Waldorf-Astoria?

GLENN: Was it good?

PAT: No, it's not.

STU: It was nice.

GLENN: It's nice, but it's an old hotel --

PAT: It's okay. It's a Sheraton hotel. It's a Hilton hotel.

GLENN: It's a Hilton. Yeah.

STU: Yeah.

JEFFY: Oh, you can't stand it. Hilton.

GLENN: Like you can't have the president stay at a Hilton.

PAT: Well, you can't. I mean, they don't. Let's be real about it.

GLENN: Yes, you can -- we should.

JEFFY: Thank you.

PAT: We don't.

GLENN: We should.

Featured Image: The Waldorf Astoria, 1899, Library of of Congress (Photo: Wiki Commons)

On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:


Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

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A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below:

Fellow BlazeTV host, Mark Levin, joined Glenn Beck on his exclusive Friday episode of "GlennTV" to discuss why the declassified list of Obama administration officials who were aware of the details of Gen. Michael Flynn's wiretapped phone calls are so significant.

Glenn argued that Obama built a covert bureaucracy to "transform America" for a long time to come, and Gen. Flynn was targeted because he happened to know "where the bodies were buried", making him a threat to Obama's "secret legacy."

Levin agreed, noting the "shocking extent of the police state tactics" by the Obama administration. He recalled several scandalous happenings during Obama's "scandal free presidency," which nobody seems to remember.

Watch the video below for more:


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To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Colleges and universities should be home to a lively and open debate about questions both current and timeless, independent from a political bias or rules that stifle speech. Unfortunately for students, speaking out about personal beliefs or challenging political dogma can be a dangerous undertaking. I experienced this firsthand as an undergraduate, and I'm fighting that trend now as an adjunct professor.

In 2013, Glenn Beck was one of the most listened to radio personalities in the world. For a college senior with hopes of working on policy and media, a job working for Glenn was a ticket to big things. I needed a foot in the door and hoped to tap into the alumni network at the small liberal arts school where I was an undergrad. When I met with a career services specialist in early March 2013 about possible alumni connections to Glenn Beck, she disdainfully told me: "Why would you want to work for someone like him?" That was the beginning and end of our conversation.

I was floored by her response, and sent an email to the school complaining that her behavior was inappropriate. Her personal opinions, political or otherwise, I argued, shouldn't play a role in the decision to help students.

That isn't the kind of response a student should hear when seeking guidance and help in kick starting their career. Regardless of the position, a career specialist or professors' opinion or belief shouldn't be a factor in whether the student deserves access to the alumni network and schools' resources.

Now, seven years later, I work full time for a law firm and part time as an adjunct teaching business to undergraduate students. The culture at colleges and universities seems to have gotten even worse, unfortunately, since I was an undergrad.

College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions.

I never want to see a student told they shouldn't pursue their goals, regardless of their personal or political beliefs. College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions. I never got access to the alumni network or schools' resources from the career services office.

Lucky for students in 2020, there are several legal organizations that help students protect their rights when an issue goes beyond what can be handled by an undergraduate facing tremendous pressure from a powerful academic institution. Organizations like Speech First and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), for instance, are resources I wish I knew about at the time.

When I experienced mistreatment from my college, I spoke up and challenged the behavior by emailing the administration and explaining what happened. I received a letter from the career services specialist apologizing for the "unprofessional comment."

What she described in that apology as a "momentary lapse of good judgement" was anything but momentary. It was indicative of the larger battle for ideas that has been happening on college campuses across the country. In the past seven years, the pressure, mistreatment and oppression of free expression have only increased. Even right now, some are raising concerns that campus administrations are using the COVID-19 pandemic to limit free speech even further. Social distancing guidelines and crowd size may both be used to limit or refuse controversial speakers.

Students often feel pressure to conform to a college or university's wishes. If they don't, they could be expelled, fail a class or experience other retribution. The college holds all the cards. On most campuses, the burden of proof for guilt in student conduct hearings is "more likely than not," making it very difficult for students to stand up for their rights without legal help.

As an adjunct professor, every student who comes to me for help in finding purpose gets my full support and my active help — even if the students' goals run counter to mine. But I have learned something crucial in my time in this role: It's not the job of an educator to dictate a student's purpose in life. I'm meant to help them achieve their dreams, no matter what.

Conner Drigotas is the Director of Communications and Development at a national law firm and is a Young Voices contributor.