Tags: Jeh Johnson | Security | Planned | Inauguration

Jeh Johnson: 'Enormous' Security Planned for Inauguration Friday

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 11:39 AM

There is no specific threat directed toward Friday's inauguration ceremonies, but there is always a concern of the "lone wolf" attacker, and special precautions are being taken, outgoing Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said Thursday.

"We live in an age now of the self-radicalized actor — the so-called lone wolf — and we have to be concerned about the vehicle threat," Johnson told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program in an exclusive interview.

Event security officials are prohibiting vehicles, except for official ones, from being in the "hard vehicle security areas," said Johnson, and the area will be "extra fortified this year with dump trucks, heavily armored vehicles to prevent anybody who's not authorized from being in the area from driving something in there."

In addition, he said, "security will be enormous."

"There will be approximately 10,000 DHS personnel, Secret Service, TSA, Coast Guard, and a number of other components supporting the security for the inauguration," said Johnson.

"There will be another 12,000 or so federal personnel, including 7,800 National Guard, FBI, Metro Police supported by police forces from the area and Park Police, of course, Capitol Police.

"There will be approximately 28,000 people directly or indirectly supporting the security for the inauguration."

However, there are at least two unique matters occurring in connection with President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration ceremonies, said Johnson.

"We're expecting about 700,000 to 900,000 people in the mall area," he told the program. "It's a series of events that begin today, tomorrow, and Saturday. We have, at last count, 103 groups that have either applied for permits to demonstrate or that we see from social media intend to come to town."

The concern is that some of the groups are for Trump, and some are not, and they "may not play well together in the same space," Johnson said.

"Park Police, in particular, along with the Metro Police, have made plans to try to separate the groups, to try to put them in areas where they're not directly facing off against one another like we did in Cleveland and Philadelphia this last summer."

Johnson said he believes the Cleveland Police, in particular, did an excellent job of diffusing situations during the Republican National Convention last summer, through separating groups and monitoring tense situations.

"We're going to be doing much the same," said Johnson. "We're going to have a lot of resources. All these police forces, Capitol Police, Park Police, the Feds, area police, they're well-coordinated.

"We've been planning this since July and we've got pretty sophisticated ways to monitor groups, to keep tabs on groups and make sure things don't get out of hand."

Johnson also spoke about retired Gen. John Kelly, who Trump has nominated as his successor, and said he knows him well and considers him a good man and a friend who will be well-received in the Department of Homeland Security.

"John Kelly was the Secretary of Defense's military aide when I was general counsel of the Department of Defense," said Johnson. "The first time I ever heard about John Kelly was when I was at Dover to greet his son's casket coming back from Afghanistan.

"And there were all these Marines there and they were all saying we're here for Gen. Kelly. And then some months later he showed up in the Pentagon and I got know him well and I consider him a friend."

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There is no specific threat directed toward Friday's inauguration ceremonies, but there is always a concern of the "lone wolf" attacker, and special precautions are being taken...
Jeh Johnson, Security, Planned, Inauguration
Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 11:39 AM
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