DHS chief: Drones 'an issue' for security in 2016 race
© Getty Images

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Friday that drones will be an issue for federal, state and local security during the 2016 presidential race.

Johnson made the comments in response to a question from NBC's Chuck Todd, who asked him whether the Secret Service was "panicked" about the proliferation of drones. Todd said he wondered how it would effect security at outdoor campaign events in 2016.  


“It is definitely an issue,” Johnson replied on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

He then went into an anecdote about a drone flying over his head at a graduation ceremony. 

“I was giving a commencement address a couple weekends ago and in the middle I look up and I see a little drone flying over my head,” Johnson said.
“Fortunately the Secret Service was on this guy in a second, but it was a little distracting in the middle of what I thought was an inspirational speech and all of a sudden I see this thing buzzing over my head,” he said.

Separately, Johnson also said security agencies in the Capitol region needed to review how to handle drones. The Secret Service on Thursday detained a man for trying to fly a drone over the White House fence.

“This is something that U.S. NORTHCOM, me, Secret Service, Capitol Police, Metro police here in the Washington, D.C., area ... we need to refine our protocols for airborne stuff in the national capital region to deal with what we’re referring to as the low and slow stuff,” he said.

This story was updated at 1:10 p.m.