In for Glenn Beck, John Cardillo spoke with former NYPD Chief of Intelligence Edmund Hartnett on Monday, covering implications about Donald Trump's private security force conflicting with the U.S. Secret Service.
Cardillo's guest seemed to think this was nothing more than the media doing what the media does best.
"Good security is done almost like the umpire in the baseball game. If it's done right, you don't even see the guy. You don't even hear from the guy," Hartnett said. "So, anything I see being blown up by media like Politico or Salon is ridiculous."
Listen to the segment or read the transcript below.
JOHN: As a former law enforcement guy, when people get stories about security wrong, it's a pet peeve. It irks me. And there's a story in Politico from Ken Vogel. Now, Ken Vogel, you remember this guy, he was the reporter in the WikiLeaks emails, who was sending his stories to the DNC for edit and approval.
So anything this guy writes, I take with a grain of salt. And the story is entitled, Trump private security force playing with fire. And the implication is that Donald Trump is disregarding the Secret Service and fielding his own security force, which is kind of ridiculous. But I wanted to bring somebody in to talk about this, who intimately understands the dynamic of the Secret Service's interaction with private security teams and local police. Very good friend of mine is joining me.
Edmund Hartnett. Ed was chief of intelligence. The NYPD's chief of intelligence on 9/11 went on to be the police commissioner of Yonkers, New York, and is now a global private security expert. He's an expert on terror and global security. Really my go-to guy. Commissioner, thanks for being here. Good morning.
EDMUND: Good morning, John. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
JOHN: Merry Christmas. Long overdue this call.
So there's this article, and basically the implication is that Donald Trump has this private security force that's getting in the way of the Secret Service. I read it differently. Maybe you and I have unique perspectives on this, some of these guys -- one is a retired NYPD guy who left the job in 1999. He's a Navy veteran. He -- I'm sorry -- worked for Trump since '99.
And these guys to me have really just become Donald Trump's aides and body men. They're not interfering with the Secret Service. The rallies I've been to, it seems, like a well choreographed, well oiled machine where they're all working very effectively together.
Now, when you were chief of intelligence -- I'm sure most listeners don't know, but the NYPD intelligence division, is the unit that liaises with the Secret Service, when the president or the first family is in New York City. So you have intimate experience dealing with the private security teams and the staffs of presidents of the United States.
Tell us a little bit about this. Am I downplaying this, or is this a genuine concern?
EDMUND: To me, John, it's not a genuine concern. Anything I've seen, anything I've heard from people I know in the business, in the public sector and the private sector side, describes Donald Trump's security team relationship with the Secret Service as seamless coordination.
The guy we always see on TV with the president-elect, Pete Shiller (phonetic), is the gentleman you referenced. He's retired NYPD. Retired Navy officer. Consummate professional. Everything I've seen and heard about him -- he does not get away. Good security is done. Almost like the umpire in the baseball game.
If it's done right, you don't even see the guy. You don't even hear from the guy. So anything I see being blown up by like Politico or by Salon.com, where they're referring to the president-elect's security team as this private mercenary army, I think, is one of the quotes, is ridiculous. They don't seem to refer to Jay-Z and Beyonce as having a private mercenary army, but they probably have just as much security as Donald Trump does.
JOHN: Maybe more. I mean, we saw that Ivanka Trump and her husband were harassed on a JetBlue flight. They didn't have a phalanx of security officers around them.
And in addition to now being a part of the first family, they're a wealthy couple who could certainly afford it.
If anything, it seems the Trump family was just trying to live a pretty normal life, before being elected. Look, he's a famous guy. And he lives opulently. But with the way the kids, his children and the grandchildren were trying to operate, it seems like they didn't have these armies of security around them, like you so accurately say, Ed. We see celebrities have, with their motorcades.
You know, I read a story. Chris Pine, the actor who is in the Star Wars movies. He plays Kirk. Jeff Bezos had a role on the set of the new film. And Chris Pine didn't know who he was. But he said, "Well, Jeff Bezos is the CEO of Amazon." But he said, "Well, I knew he was someone important when he showed up with like 25 SUVs and a security army." And he said, "You know, the heads of the studios didn't that have."
So you make a great point. So tell us a little bit -- because I know people are interested in this.
How -- for example, Donald Trump is going to be spending a lot of time in New York City. The president-elect is going to be there. It's his second home. His wife and young son are staying there. What's the NYPD's role going to be in all of this? How are they going to interact with the Secret Service and at the same time effectively police the rest of the city?
EDMUND: Again, having firsthand experience, John, nobody -- no place in the country is the relationship between Secret Service and the local police stronger than it is in New York City. Because of -- of the nature of the city and the United Nations being there and every dictator, king, president, ruler, prime minister comes to New York City, sometimes a few times a year -- so that -- that role -- that coordination between the Secret Service and the NYPD is outstanding. It's exemplary. It can't be matched anywhere else in the country.
So the NYPD will coordinate with the Secret Service for everything that involves the Trump family, if there are private security officers involved -- we've had it many times. Again, dignitaries, where they come with their people. It will be seamless.
When the president is sworn in, he will be the -- his security will be run by the Secret Service. They will liaise with his private security people. They'll tap into their knowledge and expertise because they'll need it.
But security for the president of the United States and his immediate family will be run and coordinated by the Secret Service in DC in New York City and wherever the president goes.
JOHN: I'm speaking with Edmund Hartnett, former chief of intelligence of the New York City Police Department and Yonkers police commissioner. Also, very good personal friend of mine. You're always my go-to guy on these issues. You're the most knowledgeable guy on this. And you stay very current.
Let's talk a little bit about the upcoming New Years holiday. Now, we've got the president-elect from New York City. Most of his family living in New York City. We've got New Year's Eve in New York City, arguably the largest gathering of people in the world every year.
Without disclosing operational security, I always want to have the listeners understand what goes into the security protocols. But at the same time, these are always careful segments for me. Because I never want to tell too much of how we do what we do. But insofar as you can tell through your experience, what is NYPD going to do to both protect the family of the president-elect and safeguard the city on New Years Eve, as they would if the president-elect's family didn't live in New York?
EDMUND: Well, first, the planning that goes into this stuff is incredible. It's mind-boggling. They don't just take out last year's folder, dust it off, and set the plan in place. These plans are made months ahead of time. These plans were made with contingencies with either Clinton winning or Mr. Trump winning. So planning those, like I said, is incredible. They'll also tap into anything that's going on in the world right now, no matter where it is. It could be areas of the country we're not familiar with. But there's something happening there. Some hot spot there and maybe there's some connection now to New York City, trust me, the NYPD and their federal partners will be all over it.
The planning that goes into a regular New Years Eve, if there is such a thing, Times Square detail, the -- the -- the back flips that people have to do to get into the pen alone, the screening that goes on overtly and covertly, is incredible. You can't rule out anything. You can't rule out some lone wolf trying to do something.
On the investigative side even, they're looking at various people that may or may not cause problems. And they want to know exactly where they are at any given moment. So, again, the planning that goes into it is incredible. I think people that want to go to New Years Eve should go and have a good time, be safe. But obviously, look around for anything suspicious. But I think it's going to be a great New Year's, as always. And I know I'm prejudiced. But nobody does it as well as the NYPD.
JOHN: No. I happen to agree. And we might get flamed for that. But I don't think it's because it's our alma mater. I think it's out of necessity, right? Out of necessity and sheer size. We've got New York City and all its landmarks. We've got the New York City stock exchange or the hub of banking and finance for the world. The exact targets that terrorists want to hit. They want to destroy capitalism. You're going to hit New York, you're going to hit London. And the NYPD, being the largest, being the most robust, well-funded agency out there. They really didn't have a choice, but to be thrust into the role they were.
And I think with Edmund Hartnett, former chief of intelligence of the NYPD -- and I've got a question for you that might be depressing this holiday season. But I've been talking a lot today about global security, terror, lone wolfs.
What's the situation that keeps you awake at night? You're now with the private firm, Brozlin Rist (phonetic), from -- by another good friend of ours. You guys have state-of-the-art intelligence on the private side. You've seen it up close and personal. You have the highest levels of security clearance. you know how this stuff works. What's the one thing that keeps you awake at night in terms of a terror threat in the United States as we sit here today, December 26th, 2016?
EDMUND: You know, we always talk about various things: Suicide bombers, explosive laden vehicles, and Mumbai-style mass shooting instances.
All of that stuff always concerns me. Kind of a subset of that to me is a group that cannot be cracked, that cannot be infiltrated. And I use an example -- and I hate them, but I use them as an example.
I have brothers in Boston, in the Boston Marathon bombing. You know it's your brother. You know your brother is not an informant. You know your bother's not been flipped. You know your brother is not an undercover FBI agent.
When you get a group like that, that just can't be infiltrated, to me, that's the one -- that's the thing that makes me most fearful, that you get two guys or three guys, family members that have grown up, that have maybe even done bad acts together -- if you've seen someone kill someone, say for example, five years earlier, you pretty much know that that guy is good. He's a good member of your team. He's not been turned. He's not been infiltrated. He's not an agent.
So you get that kind of hard-core group that just can't be cracked. That's what probably concerns me the most. And that kind of group can do a bomb attack. They can do a Mumbai-style attack. They can do the explosive laden vehicle or the truck driver thing like we've seen in Nice and in Berlin.
JOHN: So it really does come down to, for average Americans, if you see something, say something. If that family next door seems to be doing something nefarious, call 911.
I mean, really, American citizens are our best eyes and ears. Because those asymmetrical, low tech attacks that don't require chatter because their family members are friends. I agree with you. They scare me to death. And it really is up to American citizens to tip off law enforcement in the intelligence community, correct?
EDMUND: I think -- and I think hopefully we're seeing society getting away from that a bit. San Bernardino, which resulted in many people getting killed, I think people after that, they wish they had called.
If they had seen something suspicious with that married couple, and they wished they had called. But they didn't want to be branded as bigots. They didn't want to be branded as being prejudiced. I think we're slowly but surely having people come out of that dangerous political correctness that we've seen.
JOHN: You know, I hope you're right. I tend to agree with you, Ed, as I tend to. I hope you're right. You have a great new year, my friend. We're going to be speaking very, very soon. I'm going to have you on air with me often, in 2017. Have a great one.
EDMUND: You're doing a great job. Thanks, John.
JOHN: Thanks. And with Edmund Hartnett. And really is a world expert on this. Former chief of intelligence on 9/11. I'll let him tell his 9/11 story one day. It is absolutely -- absolutely captivating. Real American hero. Understated. Unsung American hero.
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