Protecting Pope Francis during his upcoming visit to the United States is the Secret Service’s toughest security job, former Secret Service agent Dan Emmett tells Newsmax TV
"The level of protection that he receives [reaches] or exceeds that we give to our sitting president," Emmett said Monday to J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "Newsmax Prime."
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"And [it's] simply because of the exposure that he gets as well as the adverse intelligence."
Emmett said one challenge is keep the pope safe when he moves to greet well-wishers.
"It makes it very tough and very difficult because the more open, the more exposed the protectee is to the general public, the harder the Secret Service mission becomes," he said. "Quite frankly, more people are interested in the comings and the goings of the pope than they are of the president."
"Let's say the pope decides to walk down Connecticut Avenue, he's going to be mobbed whereas the president is not going to be. The pope is probably the most high profile protectee the Secret Service has."
Francis is scheduled to land at Maryland's Joint Base Andrews from Cuba on Sept. 22.
Protection of the pontiff has increased significantly, since 1981, when Pope Paul II was shot outside of the Vatican.
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