On December 19, 2016, the Electoral College confirmed that Donald John Trump for inauguration as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. Throughout his unprecedentedly unorthodox campaign, he showed little regard for tradition, what with his undiplomatic parlance and hesitation to release his tax returns. Whereas Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama gave press conferences to announce their nominees for key cabinet positions, Trump preferred posts updates to Twitter in the wee hours before the dawn.
Perhaps this brazen, rebellious behavior is what endeared him to the people who voted for him.
However, Trump’s intolerance for dissent and disdain for the freedom of the press under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution are exceptionally unsettling. This is especially unsettling given his regular encouragement of his supporters to use violence against people who, God forbid, dare express disagreement with him at his campaign events and his decision to employ a private security and intelligence team. Political commentator and professor Robert Reich, who served as President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor, weighed in via a Facebook post dated December 19, 2016:
“More evidence of pending Trump tyranny is his decision to maintain and an aggressive and unprecedented private security force — unlike all modern presidents and presidents-elect who have entrusted their personal security entirely to the Secret Service.
“Security officials warn that a private security force heightens risks for protesters — dozens of whom have already alleged racial profiling, undue force or aggression at the hands of Trump’s security, with at least 10 joining a trio of lawsuits now pending against Trump, his campaign or its security.
“Even after the election, Trump’s private security force has removed protesters – sometimes roughly – at many of his ‘Thank You Tour’ rallies, including about a dozen protesters during a rally in Grand Rapids on Dec. 9, after Trump shouted ‘Get ‘em out!’
“Kings and dictators have palace guards. President’s don’t. At least not until King Trump. Congress should make it illegal for a president to have a private security force accountable to no one but himself.”
Indeed, Trump’s use of a private security force led by retired NYPD officer Keith Schiller, a Navy veteran who started working for Trump in 1999 as a part-time bodyguard is Charge-of-the-Light-Brigade foolish. It is foolish in that it increases risks not only people protesting against Trump but for Trump himself and his inner circle — especially taking into account the lawsuits that have been filed against Trump and his security team for the violence his ’employees’ have perpetrated against anti-Trump protesters.
Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent who worked on President Barack Obama’s protective detail during his 2012 reelection campaign recently, noted:
“It’s playing with fire… [Trump’s employment of a private security force] increases the Service’s liability, it creates greater confusion and it creates greater risk.”
Even more sinister, this practice harks back to the Schutzstaffel, the Third Reich’s fleet of paramilitary security thugs. This is of particular significance considering Trump’s wanting to register Muslims in a national database. Also specifically because of the violence and racial profiling that has been shown towards anti-Trump protesters by Trump’s own security detail.