According to a report in CNN, White House officials dismissed the possibility of President Obama attending the historic Unity March in Paris in response to the terror attacks at the offices of Charlie Hebdo last week due to security concerns.
He said Obama himself would have liked to attend the march “had the circumstances been a little different.” But planning began Friday night, 36 hours before the event began, and there wasn’t enough time for the “onerous and significant” security work that needed to take place ahead of a presidential visit, Earnest said. He said Obama’s presence also would have meant extra restrictions on the people who were there.
Apparently the White House made that determination without ever consulting with the Secret Service.
Former Secret Service agent and political pundit Dan Bonginno said the President had "thrown the Secret Service under the bus."
"As a former Secret Service agent I am apoplectic that the President is, again, blaming security and, by default, the Secret Service for skipping the historic rally in Paris. This President is absolutely incorrigible and appears to have no shame at this point.
He is not telling the truth. Don't you find it just a bit odd that the Nelson Mandela funeral, which was an organizational security threat given that it was scheduled to take place just five days after his death, was attended by the President despite the chaos, and the Paris rally wasn't.
The truth is that the President screwed up and made a bad call. The Secret Service doesn't tell the President where to go, his staff makes that call. If he wanted to go to the rally the Secret Service would have made it happen. We have an office in Paris that does just this type of visit. What makes this President different is his compete inability to acknowledge mistakes and move on. He must blame others and find a scapegoat to cover for his inadequacies. He has done this before with the Secret Service when he placed the blame on them for the suspension of the White House tours, which was another tall-tale.
The Secret Service doesn't have the luxury of being able to publicly respond to this garbage so I'll do it for them. Stop blaming the men and women who subordinate their lives, and their safety, to yours to fix your self-inflicted political problems. What you did was shameful and I hope Americans see through it."
And as Right Read's Joseph Curl says, President Clinton was able to attend the funeral of assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin with just a few hours notice:
Sometimes, a president has to tell the Secret Service, 'I'm going.' Like Clinton did for Rabin funeral, like GWB did on 9/11. Takes a pair.— Joseph Curl (@josephcurl) January 12, 2015