Coulson told “Your World” Monday that “terrifying times” call for heightened security measures and urged the president-elect’s team to consider hosting the Jan. 20 inaugural ceremony in an enclosed sports stadium.
“If it were up to me, and it’s not, I would not have this inauguration outside,” he told Fox News host Martha MacCallum. “I’d do it in a football stadium. We know how to secure football stadiums. We can control access, we can control everything from drones to people, and they need to do that.”
The Secret Service has announced plans to begin security operations Jan. 13 in preparation for the inauguration, six days earlier than planned.
Earlier Monday, a federal law enforcement source told Fox News that an internal FBI memo has warned of plans for armed protests in all 50 state capital cities ahead of Biden’s swearing-in. Biden himself said that he is “not afraid” to take the oath of office in the open air following the Jan. 6 riot that left five dead, including a U.S. Capitol police officer.
Coulson acknowledged that a seamless inauguration and transfer of power is “very important to our country,” but warned the Biden team not to allow “optic issues” take precedence over the security of the president-elect.
“Reagan was shot [in 1981] because the security plan was changed by his staff members, who changed it, and moved the demonstrators and the media close to the scene, ” Coulson said. “That was an optic issue. We can’t have that here. We don’t have time for political correctness. Staffers need to plan on tea and cookies and menus and let the professional Secret Service set things up and do it the right way.”
Coulson also advised the Secret Service to place “extraction teams in the crowds ready to pounce on anyone that tries to instigate a riot.
“They need to have arrest teams, a strong physical presence, they need to monitor drones … there’s about a million things that we can talk about,” he said, “but let the Secret Service run it. Let the FBI help them, [and] keep staffers out.”