One wouldn’t know it by following Big Media, but President Trump just dodged danger.
Poor guy. He didn’t have a Christmas or a New Year getaway at Mar a Lago. He spent New Year’s Eve alone at the White House whilst Melania hosted the resort’s annual party that evening.
While the new (returning from Obama’s time) Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi spent her Christmas and New Year holiday in Hawaii, Trump was at the White House waiting to negotiate the southern border barrier and the government shutdown with her and other leading Democrats.
Bear in mind that the Speaker of the House becomes President should anything happen to him and the Vice President.
On Wednesday, January 16, Scott MacFarlane of NBC 4 in Washington DC tweeted:
NEW: Feds arrest Georgia man suspected of plotting attack Washington Monument, White House and Lincoln Memorial with weapons and explosives. Per court documents – man had “hand-drawn diagram of ground floor of the West Wing”
He had this follow-up. ‘Tomorrow’ was January 17:
BREAKING: Georgia man suspected of plotting attack against White House for TOMORROW arrested by FBI. Man had “hand-drawn diagram of ground floor of the West Wing”
MORE: Suspected attacker planned to equip backpack with explosives…. approach White House “from the back road, causing a distraction for police, and then proceeding into the White House”
Breaking 911 reported that the FBI had been working with local law enforcement officials in Georgia for the past year to arrest him. Breaking 911’s report has a video of the press conference as well as the statements below:
U.S. Attorney Pak:
“Investigating and prosecuting individuals who seek to cause mass casualties is law enforcement’s top priority. Today, the Joint Terrorism Task Force partners, led by the FBI, arrested Hasher Taheb, 21, of Cumming, Georgia after a thorough investigation into his plans to attack federal buildings. As articulated in the affidavit supporting the complaint, his alleged intent was to attack the White House and other targets of opportunity in the Washington DC area. Mr. Taheb has been charged with violating Title 18USC 844(f)(1) — attempt to damage by means of an explosive any building owned, possessed, or leased by the United States or any department or agency thereof, or any institution or organization receiving federal financial assistance. The JTTF initiated the case after receiving a tip from the community. Because the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, and numerous Federal, state and LE partners are active participants in the JTTF, all potential threats have been neutralized and under control from the inception of this case. Again, I want to clarify that there were no threats posed to any targets located in Northern District of Georgia, nor was the upcoming Super Bowl a target of his alleged activity,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.
“It is important to point out that this investigation and arrest were the direct result of a tip from the community, another example of how important it is to contact law enforcement if you see or hear something suspicious,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Taheb is charged as the result of a year-long investigation by FBI Atlanta’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. We want to thank the Forsyth County Sheriff Office and Gwinnett County Police Department for assisting us with his arrest. The investigation is continuing, but at this stage it is believed Taheb was acting on his own.”
A man was arrested in Georgia Wednesday night after federal agents discovered his alleged plan to blow up the White House …
Federal agents had reportedly received an anonymous tip in March 2018 and had been monitoring his movements since. One of the agents also saw a hand-drawn diagram of the ground floor of the West Wing of the White House in a Dec. 7 operation.
The tipster told authorities that Taheb was “radicalized, changed his name, and made plans to travel abroad,” according to the local news station.
Now let us return to Nancy Pelosi.
The State of the Union Address (SOTU) is scheduled for January 29. Over the past few decades, tradition has been that the Speaker of the House invites the President to speak.
Mid-week, Pelosi asked Trump in writing to reschedule the event because of the government shutdown, as security could not be certain:
Sadly, given the security concerns and unless government re-opens this week, I suggest that we work together to determine another suitable date after government has re-opened for this address or for you to consider delivering your State of the Union address in writing.
She added, rather obliquely:
This is a special security event … This is a housekeeping matter.
For many years after America was first established, American presidents sent their SOTU addresses in writing. After broadcast media became commonplace in the 20th century, however, the manner of SOTU delivery changed.
However, because these events are annual, they are planned for far in advance. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) head Kirstjen Nielsen said that the DHS and the Secret Service were ready for the event:
The Department of Homeland Security and the US Secret Service are fully prepared to support and secure the State of the Union.
Furthermore, a Fox News reporter, John Roberts, said that a DHS official told him no one from Pelosi’s office asked the Secret Service directly if they had any concerns about the SOTU going ahead.
Even CNN and NBC broadcast reports that Pelosi was fabricating excuses for the address not to go ahead.
Pelosi’s plan here was to stifle and isolate Trump. Who is going to read a letter? Also, she was no doubt relying on the media to distort the context.
Not surprisingly, Republicans objected. Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer called Pelosi’s move ‘beyond petty’. After Pelosi’s second in command Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland) confirmed that the SOTU was off, Spicer tweeted:
@realDonaldTrump will fulfill his constitutional responsibility and give one – where and when are now up to him.
The Daily Caller reported that Secret Service veterans were also angry. One of them, Dan Bongino, called on Pelosi to apologise and said:
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.
We don’t know yet what will happen. Trump might give the SOTU from the Oval Office or from the Senate, provided the room layout is changed.
The best idea would be for Trump to schedule a huge public rally and give the SOTU directly to the people instead of politicians.
The SOTU gives the president — Trump, in particular — the opportunity to invite civilians to be acknowledged. With security being his current focus, he is likely to invite Angel Families whose children or siblings have been killed by illegal aliens. There are also policemen and policewomen among their number, particularly from Pelosi’s home state of California. One of them was Ronil Singh, allegedly murdered by an illegal in the early hours of December 26. Trump could be making arrangements for his brother to be present.
None of this would reflect well on the Democrats who were on holiday at the time when they should have been working with Trump at the White House to resolve the southern border issue.
SOTU aside, a greater Pelosi story became the focus at the end of week.
We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the shutdown is over…if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.
Trump cancelled the congressional delegation (CoDel) at the very last minute that day — a stroke of genius. The flight was scheduled for 3 p.m.:
Fox News reporter Chad Pergram said that confusion had set in hours earlier, just as they were preparing to leave for Joint Base Andrews (note photo in his tweet of the Air Force bus they were going to take):
Fox is told CapHill security officials got an emergency call from the Pentagon canceling the overseas trip due to shutdown. No one here knows if the trip is going to happen or not. Lots of confusion.
CoDel was already on the bus. He tweeted:
Members are sitting on the USAF bus on CapHill they wait to see if they are departing on overseas trip Trump canceled. Fox is told there are furious calls going back and forth now between the Hill, State, Pentagon and White House.
Even more so around lunchtime that day (another photo of the USAF bus):
USAF bus back on Capitol plaza. Mbrs getting off bus & going back into Capitol.
Another Fox News correspondent, Kevin Corke, had more:
Members leaving bus: Eliot Engel (D-NY), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Mark Takano (D-CA), Reps. Susan Davis (D-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA).
Think about it. Pelosi had organised an overseas trip for Democrat legislators during a government shutdown, but she cancelled the previously scheduled SOTU.
Fox News had a round up of reactions to Trump’s cancellation of Nancy’s CODEL:
An official said that “as soon as the president found out about the trip today, he took immediate action.” A source told Fox News that when moving to cancel Thursday’s flight, the White House reasoned that the trip would keep Pelosi out of the country beyond next Tuesday night—when the next government pay period would occur.
Pelosi’s House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Trump’s move was ‘petty’ and ‘small’.
Republicans were divided. Senator Lindsey Graham (South Carolina) said:
One sophomoric response does not deserve another. Speaker Pelosi’s threat to cancel the State of the Union is very irresponsible and blatantly political.
President Trump denying Speaker Pelosi military travel to visit our troops in Afghanistan, our allies in Egypt and NATO is also inappropriate.
On the other hand, the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy (California), said Trump’s move was ‘completely appropriate’.
However, the Republicans are missing the bigger picture — one that Trump supporters, and our very own James, thought of immediately. Imagine if the aforementioned Georgia man had blown up his targets, including the White House, on the afternoon of January 17, when Pelosi would be boarding the Air Force jet at Andrews or, perhaps, already be heading out of the country.
If — heaven forfend — something dire had happened to President Trump and Vice President Pence, who works in the adjacent Eisenhower building, Nancy Pelosi would have been President Pelosi and would have said how unfortunate such a tragic attack was, that she was out of the country at the time, etc., etc.
How much did President Trump know? How many pieces of the puzzle did he put together before he put his foot down?
If you find that a bit ‘out there’, consider this odd January 18 tweet from top Dem Donna Brazile, interim party chair during Hillary’s campaign:
Thankfully, nothing happened, but also consider the security implications of the whole trip. Why would these Democrats be going to sensitive countries such as Egypt and Afghanistan? As one Trump supporter tweeted:
How many people get the implications of
@POTUS cancelling Pelosi/Schiff trip? CONTEXT = Is important for (Meaning) & (Relevance) CoDel (Congressional Delegation) [Clandestine] trip to → Brussels > Egypt > Afghanistan = was, well… I’m at a loss for words.
I repeat: thank goodness that nothing happened on Thursday — and that Trump cancelled the Dems’ trip.
There has been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing about Pelosi’s cancelled itinerary, which I won’t bother to go into. In any event, she allegedly flew to California at the weekend.
On Friday, the White House issued a shutdown directive that no military aircraft are to be used for travel unless the Acting Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, approves the request in writing. He’s a tough nut to crack and, as he is still the head of the Office of Management and Budget, his response will be No.
Trump supporters realise how dangerous things are for the president, but as one put it:
Please pray for Trump and his family. And those risking their lives every single day to protect them. Even if you aren’t religious, please pray. I can feel their hatred for this man. The hatred is powerful and it’s pointed towards you, too. Even more so actually.
Sadly, he is not wrong.