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A program created after 9/11 to protect the flying public is being abused by Congress, according to an association representing federal air marshals, essentially creating, in their words, a VIP “concierge service” for members.

The Air Marshal National Council, which represents some of the nation’s roughly 2,000 air marshals, says the problem began after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Following that, some fearful lawmakers began requesting security — not just on Capitol grounds, but to and from their districts and even to vacation spots.

The Transportation Security Administration, which runs the Federal Air Marshal Service, began reassigning agents from “high risk” commercial flights to accompany members of Congress instead. This angered some sky marshals, as protecting the public is their primary mission. Capitol police, and when necessary the U.S. Secret Service, are tasked with protecting lawmakers. After 9/11, then-President George W. Bush gave the air marshals responsibility to protect the flying public, upping the number of agents from 33 to more than 4,000. Today, the program covers some 30,000 commercial flights a day.

“Air marshals can only be assigned to high-risk flights. That means flights that have been deemed through our vetted process that have a security risk,” said Sonya Hightower LoBasco, executive director of the Air Marshal National Council. “When these processes are violated and they’re taken advantage of and they are just tossed to the side now as if they don’t matter, we’re really looking into creating a major problem for ourselves in the aviation domain.”

Some of the traveling lawmakers already have security details, while others who requested the service skipped their scheduled flights, according to records reviewed by Fox News, which was also told that lawmakers from both parties used the service – sometimes on official business, other times for personal travel.

One such flight, according to a complaint filed with the House Committee on Ethics, involved Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who flew from Washington, D.C., to Minneapolis on April 17 to attend the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin. Waters was already accompanied by two armed Capitol Police and two U.S. Secret Service agents when she allegedly requested two air marshals and two more marshals on touchdown to escort her in the airport.

On Friday night US Capitol Police and US Secret Service deny those claims telling Fox neither agency provided in-flight protection for the congresswoman.  

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“Congresswoman Maxine Waters utilized numerous government resources inappropriately,” the complaint reads. “Federal Air Marshals were removed from a “High Risk” flight to cover Ms. Waters flight to Minnesota. The High Risk flight took off with no armed law enforcement on board leaving a gap in National Security.”

“Air marshals for Miss Waters trip were assigned high risk missions, they were removed from those missions and assigned to Miss Waters mission on top of her already armed security detail from the Capitol Police,” Hightower said. “That was not an official business trip. We still don’t have any justification as to why government resources were utilized to fly Miss Waters out to Minnesota.”

Said another air marshal familiar with the incident: “It’s ridiculous. Meanwhile, there are 30,000 other flights with no armed agents.”

Waters did not respond to multiple inquiries from Fox News. 

Harassment of lawmakers in public isn’t new, but the federal air marshals (FAMs) say congressional flights are not their primary mission.

“Placing FAMs on aircraft simply because a member of Congress requests it is an egregious misuse of government resources,” David Londo, president of the Air Marshal National Council, said in a complaint to the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General on April 20. “The FAMs are now taking agents off of regularly scheduled “high risk” flights to put them on flights with members of Congress, that in most cases have their own armed federal security details onboard already.  It has become akin to a type of extremely expensive concierge service for Congressional members.”

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Politics

DEAD ON ARRIVAL? GOP Blocks Dem Voting Bill with Filibuster, Leaders Say ‘Fight Not Over’

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ABRAMS CLAIM: Stacey Abrams Says She Was Nearly Blocked from Voting in Georgia Election

posted by Hannity Staff – 11.21.18

Democratic candidate in Georgia’s gubernatorial race Stacey Abrams claimed she was nearly blocked from voting this week; doubling-down on her previous comments that “voter suppression” led to an “unfair” midterm election.

Abrams was speaking with NPR when she stated an Election Day staffer attempted to stop her from casting her ballot; saying “The day I voted, I had to correct the poll worker who said I had filed for an absentee ballot.”

“I did it quietly. I didn’t turn it into a major conversation because, for me, it was about getting through the process,” she added. “But it was also emblematic to me of the privilege that I have.”

“I know the law … There are thousands, millions in Georgia who do not know what their rights are and therefore do not know that they shouldn’t have to wait in four-hour lines in the rain with their children. They shouldn’t have to worry about whether they will lose their jobs in order to exercise their democratic right to vote for their leader,” said Abrams

Read the full interview here.

ADD IT TO THE LIST: Hillary Blames Supreme Court Decision for 2016 Election Loss

posted by Hannity Staff – 9.17.19

Twice-failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton continued her worldwide excuses tour this week; asserting a Supreme Court decision regarding the “Voting Rights Act” had a major impact in her 2016 loss to Donald Trump.

“Now, I was the first person who ran for president in more than 50 years without the protection of the Voting Rights Act. And let me just say, it makes a difference,” said Clinton at an event hosted by the American Federation of Teachers.

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“The latest remarks were seemingly the first time she alleged a structural disadvantage created by the Supreme Court. In 2013, the Court drew Democrats’ ire when it struck down a portion of the Voting Rights Act, which was passed in 1965 as a way to secure voting rights for African Americans,” reports Fox News.

“Voters faced intimidation and harassment that echoed some of the worst chapters in our nation’s history,” she said. “Voter ID requirements amounted to a modern-day poll tax. Voter ID requirements, which were literally made up for the purpose of preventing certain people from actually being able to cast a vote that would be counted. We saw fewer voting places, long lines, and malfunctioning equipment — again, in certain places.”

To date, Clinton has blamed her 2016 loss on the mainstream media, Facebook, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, the FBI, James Comey, misogyny, racism, local newspapers, Russia, and more.

Read the full report at Fox News.



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Crime

Joe Biden: “Police Chief Murray…Excuse Me, Police Chief Mary, Police Chief Murphy Paul”

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President Joe Biden said, “Police Chief Murray…excuse me, Police Chief Mary, Police Chief Murphy Paul,” during remarks he delivered at the White House on guns and the rise in crime on 6/23/2021.

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Critical Race Theory

General’s response to Matt Gaetz leaves him shaking his head

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The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, says he wants to know what caused the January 6th insurrection and fired back at Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) question about critical race theory.

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