Video: Former Secret Service agent accuses WH of throwing agents under the bus on tour cancellations

posted at 10:01 am on March 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The White House’s public-relations campaign on the sequester keeps on paying dividends … to their opponents.  Yesterday, Neil Cavuto interviewed former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who explained that the Secret Service has no decision-making authority in regard to tours of the White House, despite Barack Obama’s initial claim that the DHS agency had forced their cancellation due to a lack of funds.  Bongino blasted Obama for passing the buck, calling it “an act of political cowardice” (via National Review):

A former agent blasted President Obama for blaming the Secret Service for the decision to shut down White House tours, calling it “an act of political cowardice” on Your World with Neil Cavuto this afternoon. Dan Bongino explained that the agency’s job is to provide security for the White House; it does not determine who comes in. “To say that this was the Secret Service, and that they somehow injected themselves into a political decision — well, do they get to tell [the president] to stop taking vacations and to stop going golfing as well?” Bongino said. “This doesn’t even pass the smell test.” …

Bongino, who was Maryland’s Republican candidate for Senate in 2012, called the administration’s laying the blame for the decision on the Secret Service “nonsense.” He added that he knows current agents who are upset with the White House for “throwing the Secret Service under the bus,” but they will “take it on the chin.”

Fox News wasn’t the only news agency that wasn’t buying the Secret Service explanation, either.  Two days ago, ABC’s Jon Karl laid into Jay Carney for pushing the line:

Later in the briefing, ABC News’ Jonathan Karl grilled Carney over the cost of the tours, relative to other expenses. “The Secret Service told us that the tours cost $74,000 a week. How much is it going to cost for the President to travel later this week to Illinois?” Karl asked.

“Well, the President is the President of the United States,” Carney replied, “and he is elected to represent all of the people. And he travels around the country, appropriately. I don’t have a figure on the cost of presidential travel. It is obviously something, as every President deals with because of security and staff, a significant undertaking. But the President has to travel around the country. He has to travel around the world. That is part of his job.”

“How much does it cost for him to go and play golf?” Karl shot back.

“Jon, again, you’re trivializing an impact here,” carney said. “People will lose their jobs. Three-quarters of a million people will lose their job.”

“This is about choices,” Karl said. “You have a certain amount of…”

“Right,” Carney interrupted, “The law stipulates what the costs will be for each agency. Those jobs will be lost, okay? And you can report on White House tours, or you can find out what the impacts are out in the real world, additional impacts are. This is a real-world impact here, and it is unfortunate. And it is an unhappy choice.”

Actually, the White House trivialized the impact of the sequester by churlishly canceling the tours, although in all fairness it’s almost impossible not to trivialize a mere 2.3% reduction in spending — especially after watching the federal budget grow by more than a third since 2007.

Update: DHS, not Treasury.  I’ve corrected it above.

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Even Opie has to be tiring of this.

-Just go out there and tell them that the moon is made of cheese like the Preznit said it was.

“But it’s not made of f**kin’ cheese and everyone knows it, what the f**k is wrong with you peop…!”

-Just do it, Carney!”

Bishop on March 15, 2013 at 10:05 AM

“He honestly did look longingly at it, but apparently he has to have essentially a food taster…”

- Senator Susan Collins, 15 March 2013

A food taster!!!

Now, we know why Obama has been so hysterical about budget cuts!!! It wasn’t because he was going to have to shut down the White House tours for children. No, not our noble prince. Instead, Sequestersquatch ate the money he was going to use to pay his new Groom of the Stool, Keeper of the Wardrobe, Grand Falconer, and Lord Privy Seal.

**eyeroll**

I’m Obama The Great, I am!
Obama The Great, I am, I am!

O – B – A – M – A
Obama (Obama)
Obama (Obama)
Obama The Great, I am, I am!
Obama The Great, I am!

Yeah!

Second verse, same as the first!

I’m Obama The Great, I am!
Obama The Great, I am, I am!

O – B – A – M – A
Obama (Obama)
Obama (Obama)
Obama The Great, I am, I am!
Obama The Great, I am!

Yeah!

Resist We Much on March 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM

DHS, not Treasury.

SAZMD on March 15, 2013 at 10:11 AM

If my memory serves, it was also the President that was quick to blame the Secret Service for those unexpected party crashers.

fourdeucer on March 15, 2013 at 10:19 AM

Actually, the White House trivialized the impact of the sequester by churlishly canceling the tours, although in all fairness it’s almost impossible not to trivialize a mere 2.3% reduction in spending — especially after watching the federal budget grow by more than a third since 2007.

And as you pointed out yesterday Ed (and quoted by Sean Hannity), his little junket to Chicago today would easily have kept the tour program going if this were even really a funding issue.

Happy Nomad on March 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Bongino blasted Obama for passing the buck, calling it “an act of political cowardice”

No, it was not cowardice, the Narcissist in Chief was dishing up a heaping helping of old fashioned payback. The Secret Service embarrassed him during the 2012 campaign and they are now getting the petty dictasters contemptuous backhand.

SWalker on March 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

If a mere 2.3% reduction in spending causes the loss of 750k jobs, they weren’t necessary in the first place.

OldEnglish on March 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

OT: Today is the 11th annual International EATAPETA Day. To respond to PETA’s offensive ad campaigns and militant tactics, we eat a wide variety of meat and animal products (dairy, eggs) at every meal.

aunursa on March 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

“He honestly did look longingly at it, but apparently he has to have essentially a food taster…”

– Senator Susan Collins, 15 March 2013

So would Republicans from congress have food tasters when invited to the WH?

Do we get to have food tasters when Michelle finally takes over our supermarkets?

JellyToast on March 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Resist We Much on March 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM

I was thinking more Obama the Sun King, L’État, c’est moi.

Fenris on March 15, 2013 at 10:23 AM

aunursa on March 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Obama’s way ahead of the curve on this one.

OldEnglish on March 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Nothing is ever Dear Liar’s fault. Everything good is due to him, but nothing bad. And now we have raised Gen Xers and their subsequent generation to believe the same thing, they only get praise, not blame.

rbj on March 15, 2013 at 10:37 AM

What a man that Carney.Any real man with any salt would punch his boss in the face and walk.

docflash on March 15, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I’m sure the WH press corps knows the ending of tours is just a spiteful ploy by Obama. Their precious one can’t get even with the Republicans directly, to he punishes the people. I would also love knowing what other dirt they know about Obama’s overall personality but will never reveal to the public, not only to protect him but also themselves from the personal rage he would direct against them by third parties. Nixon used the IRS. I don’t think it would stop there, with Obama.

Liam on March 15, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Less cowardice than calculation. Obama was certain he could do it, cry “They’re hurting the childrennnn!!” very loudly, and the news media (aka His Obedient Acolytes) would trumpet it across the land as one more proof of the utter evil of Republicans, and of course the greatness of His Immaculate Perfection.

The reason it didn’t work out that way is that unfortunately for Him, the budget process is documented at every turn. Ironically, this is largely the result of the Democrats’ activities in the Reagan administration, to prevent “off-budget” and “black-budget” tricks like Iran-Contra. As so many politicians do, they forgot that a power they gave themselves would one day be in the hands of people they’d rather not have it.

(The only exception to this is, of course, a one-party state where those “others” tend to end up imprisoned or simply ‘dobe-walled. As the Democrats wish they had here. But I digress.)

The same budget-watchdog measures intended to prevent things like $20,000 hammers and $45,000 toilet seats in Pentagon procurement, not to mention buying up aircraft parts and trading them to foreign nations as part of a money-laundering scheme to fund guerrillas, are what immediately exposed the lies told by this President to avoid blame for his actions, and those of his minions.

Instead of admitting it and correcting his actions, he did what he always does. He “doubled down”, blaming others for what was done, and then continued and even expanded his extravagant lifestyle.

This shouldn’t surprise anybody. It is, after all, The Chicago Way.

As to why the news media isn’t entirely rolling over and barking as He bids on this, I suspect that at least some of them grasp the concept that their little remaining credibility is at stake here. And that when everyone else has access to the raw data without going through them, lying to protect their Messiah isn’t a winning strategy.

In a typical banana republic, you can generally tell when el leader maximo’ is about to go down. It’s when his enablers start thinking in terms of self-preservation.

Obama, and his enablers, may be getting near this point. And like most comandantes’, I don’t expect him to figure it out until it’s too late.

I do, however, expect him to become very touchy as things begin to not go his way 100 percent of the time.

And when that happens, Maximum Leaders tend to get… nasty.

clear ether

eon

eon on March 15, 2013 at 10:48 AM

in all fairness it’s almost impossible not to trivialize a mere 2.3% reduction in spending — especially after watching the federal budget grow by more than a third since 2007.

In all fairness?

Obama has NOT been on an unending spending spree. It’s a trip into the unicorn and other assorted myths land.

Since fiscal 2009, however, it cannot be denied that spending has increased only modestly. Total federal outlays actually went down 1.7 percent in fiscal 2010, for example, then rose a little more than 4 percent in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Spending was projected by CBO to rise less than 1 percent in fiscal 2012. In fact, CBO reported on May 7 in its most recent monthly budget report that spending for the first seven months of the current fiscal year was 3.4 percent below the same period a year ago. That was mostly due to differences in timing of certain payments, but even adjusting for those, CBO figured spending is 0.8 percent lower so far this year.

http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/obamas-spending-inferno-or-not/

bayam on March 15, 2013 at 10:51 AM

How much does the food taster cost us??

ORconservative on March 15, 2013 at 10:55 AM

How much does the food taster cost us??

ORconservative on March 15, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Michelle’s costing us a fortune. She keeps retasting everything.

Flange on March 15, 2013 at 11:01 AM

How much does the food taster cost us??

ORconservative on March 15, 2013 at 10:55 AM

And can they be bought off?

Happy Nomad on March 15, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Yeah.. The food taster bit is security run amok. I don’t think that Susan Collins is trying to poison Obama.

Illinidiva on March 15, 2013 at 11:02 AM

What a paranoid coward, refusing to eat without his taster. I would say screw it and dig in; it’s lobster, after all!

Liam on March 15, 2013 at 11:04 AM

What a paranoid coward, refusing to eat without his taster. I would say screw it and dig in; it’s lobster, after all!

Liam on March 15, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Hey, the rat-eared wonder may be a paranoid coward but he isn’t stupid. Can you imagine the wrath he would face if he went off and had lobster without bringing Mooch along?

Happy Nomad on March 15, 2013 at 11:12 AM

OT: Today is the 11th annual International EATAPETA Day.

Woohoo!

we eat a wide variety of meat and animal products (dairy, eggs) at every meal.

aunursa on March 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Oh, dang. I thought it was Eat a Vegan Day. :(

GWB on March 15, 2013 at 11:16 AM

How about those THREE ‘calligraphers’ Carney? Does the White House really need THREE?

Choices Carney, who’s making the choices about who will be “inconvenienced”.

How about YOUR JOB, Carney? Is it really necessary?

GarandFan on March 15, 2013 at 11:21 AM

DHS, not Treasury.

SAZMD on March 15, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Before DHS, the Secret Service belonged to the Treasury, so, half-right.

ConservativeinCO on March 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM

OT: Today is the 11th annual International EATAPETA Day.
Woohoo!

we eat a wide variety of meat and animal products (dairy, eggs) at every meal.

aunursa on March 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM
Oh, dang. I thought it was Eat a Vegan Day. :(

GWB on March 15, 2013 at 11:16 AM

It is kill Caeser day, or the Ides of March for you poets.

Flange on March 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM

bayam on March 15, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Got plenty of lip balm, bam-bam?

You’re gonna need it to keep from wearin’ out your lips between lil barry’s butt-cheeks.

Solaratov on March 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Resist We Much on March 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM

…I was singing that to the tune of the Monkees… “Hen-e-ry the Eight…I AM..I AM”!

KOOLAID2 on March 15, 2013 at 11:51 AM

No, it was not cowardice, the Narcissist in Chief was dishing up a heaping helping of old fashioned payback. The Secret Service embarrassed him during the 2012 campaign and they are now getting the petty dictasters contemptuous backhand.

SWalker on March 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

I’m not sure if I’d be getting into a pi$$ing match with the SS if I depended on them the way 0bama does…

affenhauer on March 15, 2013 at 12:03 PM

Secret Service is racist. So is every department under Obama. They’ve all gone downhill since Barack was elected. Just look at Susan Rice and what State did in Benghazi as exhibit one. Then there is DHS releasing thousands of immigrants. Holder is probably the most racist when you consider F & F. No one will help their President or do what’s right.

Man can find a decent crew anywhere. If his Presidency goes down in flames, we all know why.

LetsBfrank on March 15, 2013 at 12:05 PM

How much does the food taster cost us??

BB (Before Barack) they screened for poison. Now they critique. Fees higher.

LetsBfrank on March 15, 2013 at 12:11 PM

It’s too bad we couldn’t get Bongino elected to the Senate, instead all the sheeple here sent Cardin back for yet another term…

RedInMD on March 15, 2013 at 12:16 PM

Sure are alot of “paranoid” people around these days.

forest on March 15, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Since fiscal 2009, however, it cannot be denied that spending has increased only modestly………
http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/obamas-spending-inferno-or-not/

bayam on March 15, 2013 at 10:51 AM

As you may recall, 2009 was the year of the big Stimulus. That statement is a little like buying a house, and then expecting to spend that much every year after that big purchase. The “one time” stimulus spending level has continued every year since, so that “modest” increase is sitting on top of an enormous increase in 2009.

I think that time frame of “Since fiscal 2009″ is what is commonly known as “cherry-picking.”

iurockhead on March 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM

iurockhead on March 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM

exactly.

chemman on March 15, 2013 at 12:51 PM

Secret Service to announce sequester cuts to affect Presidential Security Team; all functions outside of the Wash D.C. metro area will have to be cancelled.

(I dreamed that up last night)

BobMbx on March 15, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Since fiscal 2009, however, it cannot be denied that spending has increased only modestly………
http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/obamas-spending-inferno-or-not/

bayam on March 15, 2013 at 10:51 AM

..7 tril on his own card as Pres #44….Pres 1-43 have the other 9.5..case closed.

hillsoftx on March 15, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Just another group of great people thrown under the bus by this administration….Here’s what i want to happen..both ICE and the Secret Service to suddenly go on strike

sadsushi on March 15, 2013 at 7:43 PM

Resist We Much on March 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM

LOL!
Oh, my freakin’ ribs!

S. D. on March 16, 2013 at 7:01 PM