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Trump still using private security team: report

Trump still using private security team: report
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpEx-Trump lawyer Cohen to pen forward for impeachment book Murkowski says it would be 'appropriate' to bar Trump from holding office again Man known as 'QAnon Shaman' asks Trump for pardon after storming Capitol MORE is still employing a private security force at his rallies and is expected to keep many of them in service after he enters the White House, Politico reported Monday.

Politico said the outfit is led by Keith Schiller, a retired New York City police officer and Navy veteran who began working for Trump in 1999 as a part-time bodyguard.

Schiller has since become head of Trump’s private security detail, which has accompanied the president-elect to all seven of his post-election “thank you” rallies.

Presidential security experts and Secret Service sources told Politico that Trump’s private security team represents a major break with tradition.

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All modern presidents and presidents-elect, they said, have utilized the Secret Service for their personal security and local law enforcement officials for most events.

“It’s playing with fire,” Jonathan Wackrow, a former Secret Service agent who worked in President Obama’s protective detail during his 2012 reelection campaign, told Politico.

Wackrow said mixing Secret Service protection with the private security version “increases the Service’s liability, it creates greater confusion and it creates greater risk.”

“You never want to comingle a police function with a private security function,” he said. "If you talk to the guys on the detail and the guys who are running the rallies, that’s been a little bit different because it’s so abnormal.”

Wackrow, who left the Secret Service in 2014, said he would not allow private security alongside the agency’s employees at events, if he were in charge of protecting Trump.

“What are they going to do: pick a fight with the president-elect and his advisers?” he said of the dilemma facing the Secret Service. "That’s not a way to start a romance.”

Politico said several past presidential nominees have used private security or, in the case of some governors seeking the White House, state police.

Most presidents-elect, however, have opted to drop any outside security after their victories due to the expanded Secret Service protection they receive.