The 2016 presidential race is heating up, but both Clinton and Trump are so hated by the American public that the Secret Service director is now warning off an elevated threat to both candidates.
Joseph Clancy, director of the Secret Service, spoke openly about his security concerns regarding Hillary and Donald this week as his agency prepared for the Republican National Convention next week, according to CBS.
“I would say the candidate threat picture is slightly elevated. People are bolder… we have to be prepared for that.”
In June a British man was arrested when he tried to grab an officer’s gun during a Trump rally and in March, another man was detained when by the Secret Service when he tried to approach Trump, but things have gotten worse recently.
As tensions across the country have ratcheted up, protesters have grown bolder and shown an increasing willingness to push the boundaries, and the Secret Service has vowed to be prepared.
Trump’s campaign has been marked by racial tensions and violence, but the shootings in Dallas, Minnesota, and Louisiana have made matters worse and inflamed passions across the country. Now, numerous protest groups are preparing to hold rallies outside the convention, which is anticipating 50,000 attendees.
The Republican convention will be hosted in Cleveland, Ohio where it’s legal to carry guns openly, so the Secret Service is planning for armed protesters and hoping the event doesn’t get violent.
A group of motorcycle enthusiasts has vowed to patrol Cleveland city streets and protect convention goers from harassment, which opens the door for vigilante mob justice and riots.
— FOX 5 San Diego (@fox5sandiego) July 13, 2016
Although Bikers for Trump have promised they’re not looking for a fight, their presence threatens to stir up even more trouble as authorities struggle to main security at the Republican convention, organizer Chris Cox told Breitbart.
“We will be there to make sure that the delegates are allowed to exercise their right to peacefully assemble. “We’ve seen how these paid agitators have thrown eggs and gotten violent at other Trump events around the country and we’re not going to put up with it.”
Bikers for Trump — Armed and headed for Cleveland
What could possibly go wrong? pic.twitter.com/q0BhvPudNR
— Fraud Donald Trump (@FraudDonldTrump) July 13, 2016
The Cleveland police Department, currently being reviewed by the Department of Justice after being cited for excessive force, plans to put some 4,000 officers on the streets. They’ll be armed with millions of dollars worth of body armor and tactical weapons.
Local hospitals have been put on alert, and doctors at the Cleveland Clinic have been told to prepare for a siege in which they’re cut off from aid and supplies for the duration of the four-day convention, Chief Medical Officer Robert Wyllie told Stat.
“At the suggestion of the Secret Service, we need to be able to act independently for four days.”
— D (@Delo_Taylor) June 12, 2016
Meanwhile, authorities in Philadelphia are preparing for the Democratic convention at the end of July where security agents and area hospitals are preparing for terrorist attacks and lone gunmen, Dr. Roger Band told Stat.
“I think it’s obvious that the threat level, especially with higher-profile events like these, is increased quite a bit in the wake of what’s happened recently.”
Both Cleveland and Philadelphia have set up command centers, where authorities will be able to centrally control medical emergencies, Band told Stat.
“Even at a major trauma center, getting five or six critically injured patients is an extraordinary undertaking.”
Protest groups in Philadelphia, including the Philly Coalition for REAL Justice, have vowed to march down city streets and hold their rallies whether they have been granted a permit or not, Police Commissioner Richard Ross told Alabama News.
“We have to be flexible, and willing to adapt. We will allow people to protest and exercise their First Amendment right.”