Trump's Private Security Team Is 'Unprecedented'

He may bring some to White House, where experts worry it'll wreak havoc with Secret Service
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2016 10:17 AM CST
Trump's Private Security Team Is 'Unprecedented'
Members of Donald Trump's staff, including Keith Schiller at left, at the White House on Nov. 10.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Donald Trump says he's giving up his business, but he has no plans to give up his private security team when he enters the White House next month, reports Politico. Though he'll have the Secret Service at his disposal, Trump will keep at least part of his private force of retired police officers and FBI agents, according to insiders. Politico notes the move will be "unprecedented," as no president has ever maintained a private security force while in office. In fact, no president-elect has maintained such a force after Election Day. Trump, of course, is the exception to the latter, and continues to employ a security detail led by retired New York City cop Keith Schiller—seen escorting protesters from rallies—whom Trump hired as a bodyguard in 1999.

But insiders suggest that Schiller's role goes beyond simple protection and also includes acting as an informal adviser and gatekeeper to Trump, with a former campaign aide calling him "the most important man no one has ever heard of." "He knows all the players, all the properties. He has the confidence of Trump and of the family. To describe him as a body guy would be very, very beneath the role that he actually plays," a transition official says. A former Secret Service agent says a private security team "increases the Service's liability, it creates greater confusion and it creates greater risk." But a Trump rep downplayed concerns Monday while confirming that Schiller will remain close to Trump, noting the Politico story is "blowing [the issue] out of proportion," per the Huffington Post. (More Donald Trump stories.)

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