Over-hyped threats? Capitol police address security concerns with the Squad

The offices of all four members of the Squad – Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, have been briefed by the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) about all security measures available to them. Some of the women lawmakers have voiced concerns of threats in light of the ever-increasing tensions between President Trump and themselves.

Capitol Police confirmed to Fox News that there has not been an increase in threats. In fact, officials imply that the freshmen are not targeted as much as they claim to be, especially compared to others on Capitol Hill. The police worry if they respond to all the “noise” around them right now, they may miss more legitimate and serious threats to others.

The threat assessment regarding members of the squad, who have recently clashed with President Trump, remains low compared to some other lawmakers.

One source told Fox News that even though the four had been in the news a great deal, they were still low-profile, freshman members.

Some lawmakers’ significant others are more worried about safety than the lawmakers themselves.

There is concern in the security ranks that if the U.S. Capitol Police (USCP) responds to the “noise” surrounding the squad, it may actually miss more bona fide threats against other lawmakers.

Many members of Congress are hiring private security to provide extra protection. USCP is worried that if one group of lawmakers begins to demand additional attention from them that other lawmakers will, too, and their budget doesn’t support assigning additional protection to large groups of lawmakers. While threats, in general, continue to grow, they include threats to all lawmakers, not just the four attention-grabbing freshmen. In other words, the threats are coming in for lawmakers but it’s not specifically just for the ones now in the spotlight.

At a House Administration Committee hearing Tuesday, newly minted USCP Chief Steven Sund testified that overall, threats against lawmakers “continue to grow.”

In fiscal year 2018, Sund said the USCP dealt with 4,894 threats against lawmakers. USCP is now at 2,502 for this year. Sund argued that at this rate, the number of threats will “break last year’s” mark.

It isn’t hard to imagine that most lawmakers find themselves dealing with angry threats at some time or another. Fortunately, most are not actionable but listening to the freshmen complain about their own personal safety seems a bit hypocritical. Do they not understand that their aggressive rhetoric is also adding fuel to the fire? How about when the Squad labels President Trump and his supporters as Nazis and white supremacists? What about describing Border Patrol officers and ICE as evil monsters dehumanizing those seeking to come into the United States at the border?

In April, reports surfaced about increased security measures being a possibility for the Squad. AOC and Ilhan Omar, in particular, posted tweets about personal safety in light of attacks from the other side of the aisle. You can see that these two tweets were posted on the same day.

While USCP confirm an increase in threats to lawmakers in general, and not specifically to the Squad, it looks like a case of freshman lawmakers adjusting to life in the spotlight. That spotlight brings out some unstable folks, to be sure. As a matter of fact, lots of seasoned lawmakers continue to receive threats, even veiled ones, in social media. For example lots of entertainers are suffering from such strong mental distress over the current administration that they take to Twitter to vent their ugly thoughts. Case in point – Broadway star and singer Patti LaPone. I noticed two tweets from her yesterday that were particularly disturbing.

The first tweet was homophobic in nature, which was interesting given the fact that LaPone is an iconic hero in the eyes of the gay community. It targeted Senator Lindsey Graham.

The second was aimed at Senator Rand Paul. The violence implied is troubling, to say the least. She referenced his previous life-threatening physical attack and told him the neighbor who attacked him may have had the right idea. Yikes.

I usually look at these things with an eye to what would happen if a conservative did it, but never mind. We see that the double standard is alive and well every day. The Squad is just going to have to learn to function like the rest of the lawmakers on Capitol Hill.