Trump Motorcade Press Van Drivers Abruptly Replaced After Gun Found in Driver’s Bag
A security scare with the motorcade for President Donald Trump prompted the abrupt replacement of every press van driver Monday morning at Mar-a-Lago after a gun was found in a bag of one of the drivers. The gun was found outside Mar-a-Lago as the driver was being screened by the Secret Service.
Jordan Fabian of the Hill filed a pool report on the incident:
*From:* Jordan Fabian
*Date:* February 19, 2018 at 9:12:37 AM EST
*Subject:**Travel print pool report #2 – Trump International Golf Club*
The presidential motorcade was rolling from Mar-a-Lago at 8:55 AM. Pool did not see POTUS enter motorcade.
Motorcade pulled into Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach at 9:09 AM.
Press vans broke off to hold at lounge at Palm Beach International Airport.
No word on the presidents activities at the golf club. Trump skipped golf the past two days in the wake of last weeks school shooting.
Pool has not laid eyes on POTUS since Friday night, when he met with injured victims and first responders from the Parkland shooting.
Press had an eventful morning before entering Mar-a-Lago:
Driver of one of the press pool vans was detained during security screening for what he said was a personal firearm found in his baggage. Driver said he forgot to leave the firearm inside his personal vehicle before entering van.
Screening took place off club grounds in parking lot across the street and roughly an hour before press vans joined up with presidential motorcade.
Driver was not allowed onto club property so a White House staffer drove the van instead. White House staff said all drivers were replaced after the incident. When press loaded back into vans, driver was being questioned by an officer.
When on club grounds, another van grazed a Secret Service vehicle in the parking lot. Damage to vehicles appeared to be very minor and no one was hurt.
Sent from my iPhone”
The driver reportedly told the Secret Service he ‘forgot’ the gun was in the bag.
“Driver of one of the press pool vans was detained during security screening for what he said was a personal firearm found in his baggage. Driver said he forgot to leave the firearm inside his personal vehicle before entering van,” according to pool reporter @justinfabian.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) February 19, 2018
Press pool photo from Monday morning.
Update: The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer reports the press van drives are traditionally volunteers: “Typically such drivers are volunteers, not government employees or members of the media.”
UPDATE 2: Scret Service statement via pool reporter Jordan Fabian:
Secret Service statement regarding events in Palm Beach, Florida February 19, 2018. The Secret Service can confirm that an individual serving as a staff contracted driver was briefly detained by U.S. Secret Service personnel and other law enforcement officials today. The individual was found to be in lawful possession of a prohibited item (firearm) outside the secure area at a Secret Service security screening checkpoint. The incident was investigated by the Secret Service and our partners at the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office (PBSO) and resolved. At no time was any Secret Service protectee in danger or impacted. All Secret Service security measures worked.”