Trump Campaign Fires Off Letters to Secret Service About ‘Critical Flaw’ in Milwaukee Convention Plan

News & Politics

I have been writing about the huge security problems for Republican delegates at the National Convention in Milwaukee ever since the possibility that the boundaries of the “security zone” would not include a park less than a third of a mile from the Fiserv Forum where the convention will take place.


Republicans from the National Committee and members of Congress have begged the Secret Service to move the security zone away from Père Marquette Park where thousands of protesters are expected. It appears now that delegates will not have the freedom to walk to the convention from their hotels. 

ABC News reports, “As of now, pedestrians would have to walk through Père Marquette, which is owned by the city, to reach the facilities. According to a person familiar with the security plan, the park serves as a natural congregation point and there’s a heightened concern that attendees’ safety may be at risk if the park is not secured.”

Now the Trump campaign has also fired off a letter to the Secret Service demanding a one-block “cushion area” between Fiserv Forum and the designated free speech zone.

RNC General Counsel Todd Steggerda accused the Secret Service of ignoring Republican concerns despite numerous attempts at outreach.

“To date, the local USSS team has been unresponsive to the RNC’s reasonable proposal, as set out in my April 26 letter, to alleviate these safety risks through a very modest alteration of the Perimeter — namely, to expand a small portion of the Security Perimeter approximately one block to the East to encapsulate the Park,” Steggerda wrote.


Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said in a statement to ABC News that “demonstration zones for the convention are designated by the host city, not the Secret Service.”

He noted that the agency has been in constant talks with Republican National Committee Chair Michael Whatley, RNC staff members in Milwaukee, and members of the U.S. Senate about the security plan for the convention, adding that “we take security planning for these events extremely seriously.”

“Our security perimeters are based on public safety metrics, including protective intelligence, risk, and threat assessments. Our model is designed to ensure the highest level of security while minimizing impacts on the public,” Guglielmi said.

Security for the Democrats’ Chicago convention is a lot different. Their First Amendment Zone is located more than three miles from the United Center where their convention will be held.

I’d love to see the “metrics” comparing Chicago with Milwaukee.

For good measure, the Secret Service spokesman chided Republicans for disclosing “security information.”

“Publicly disclosing security information, as done in this letter, undermines our ability to maintain the integrity of our security plan and keep the convention, attendees, and the public safe,” Guglielmi added.


The adjustment to the perimeter would create a balance of security and public safety, the letter says. The Trump campaign claims that moving the perimeter allows attendees, journalists and community members to walk safely, be treated with respect and dignity, and have their first-amendment rights protected. One of those rights includes ensuring the right to a peaceful protest and assembly within sight and sound of the convention. The proposed adjustments establish that this will still happen.

The RNC’s demand comes as increased political protests against the war in Gaza are spreading across the country — with many playing out on college campuses. Several of the protests have resulted in arrests.

Maybe the protesters won’t bother conventiongoers. Maybe everyone will be safe and have a great time. Maybe.

And then again, maybe not.

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