Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles - So I think the best way to sum up being a Secret Service agent, it's prolonged periods of boredom only broken up by moments of sheer terror. [light music] Hello, my name is Jonathan Wackrow, and I'm a former United States Secret Service agent. I spent 14 years in the agency, and 4 1/2 years assigned to the presidential protection division during the Obama administration. Today we will be reviewing scenes featuring the president's Secret Service detail in TV and film. This is "Air Force One" directed by Wolfgang Peterson. Seeing Air Force one in person for the very first time is very majestic. Literally takes your breath away. The entire construct around the plane has a different sense of importance than your regular aircraft. They actually represent it and capture the moment very well. The reason why the plane has such distinctive markings and is so obvious is because of the mission that it serves. The Secret Service understands security concerns that go along with it and it's built into the overarching security plan. - Gentlemen, welcome to Air Force One. Please present your equipment for inspection. - We were just inspected at the gate. Sir, this plane carries the president of the United States. - I understand. I'm terribly sorry. - Please place your thumb on the ID pad. - Looking at the boarding procedures, what they got right is the organized structure. There are a lot of moving parts around Air Force One just prior to departure, but it's not chaotic. It's very organized. What is off on this is actually who does it. The Secret Service does not protect the plane itself. That's a responsibility that falls upon the Air Force. The Secret Service is responsible for the overall security of the airport site. As we saw on the clip, one of the passengers put their thumb on an ID pad to gain access. This was actually cutting edge at that time. Since then technology has evolved and has expanded the level of access control to further protect that plane. - Hello there, I'm Melanie Mitchell, deputy press secretary. I'll be taking you in from here. - Miss Mitchell, it is so nice to finally meet you in person. - The president and I were delighted we could accommodate your news crew. - So in my experience, I never wanna say never, but I think it's highly unlikely that you would see a foreign news crew, absent of a foreign head of state on the aircraft at the same time that the president is on board. - If you'd like, I think we have time for a quick tour. - [Jonathan] The press do reside in the back of the aircraft, and there is a separate cabin for Secret Service, and the security detail. - Secret service right here. Never try to go past them without an escort or you'll be very sorry. - Hello. - Hi. - Moving forward in the aircraft, you get into staff, senior staff, and then the president's cabin. - He could run the whole country from here, or even a war if we had to. - What is a little anomalous here is the fact that, so close to the president's arrival, White House staff would be showing foreign press around. - Yes. - The president's arriving. They should all take their seats, right away. - I'll get out of here and let you all get some sleep. - The president is essentially going to be one of the last people on the plane, and when he gets on, that door shuts, and that plane moves. [crowd chattering] - Mr. President, welcome aboard, sir. - I was stunned at how fast the plane took off during my first trip. I was actually still standing and we were rolling down the runway. You don't want that aircraft to become a target on the ground. So the point is, once the president is on board that aircraft it is moving immediately. - Mr. President. - Mr. President. - Change in plan, Danny. Let's go to Barbados. - Anything you want. You're the president. - My very first time aboard Air Force One, the moment that I got on board, you just knew that it was a different aircraft. The flight crew was different. You knew that this wasn't just a flight crew from Delta. These were trained professionals that were there to serve the president of the United States. And the food was fantastic. Skipping ahead in the movie, we see an agent assigned to the president's detail actually revealing himself as a rogue agent. The look of the Secret Service agent portrayed in the film is spot-on. You always have your jacket on, tie on. You never know when you may confront either senior staff or the president, so you want to have a professional appearance at all times. The only change that you may actually have is a change in jacket. Sort of the rule of thumb though, is if the president is not wearing a jacket, you are not gonna wear a jacket. We wanna blend into the environment as much as possible. So it's easier just to mimic what the president is doing at that moment. [suspenseful music] We also see the rogue agent accessing a cache of weapons behind a security wall. What I can say is that this type of weapon system, or armament onboard the aircraft, would be safeguarded by an agent at all times. Beyond that, there's really not much more that I would wanna talk about. I only will talk about things that are already out there in the public domain. This is "Dave" directed by Ivan Reitman. In this scene, we see Dave, the president's decoy, talking to a member of the president's detail. - How long has that been going on? - I can't say. - You mean you don't know, or you can't say? - I can't say. - At the White House, the president has access to his own private kitchen within the residence, as we see here, but then also the presidential food service. Quick answer is the president can get anything he wants at any time. The Secret Service tends to try to give as much privacy as possible to the president while he's in the residence. So while we know where he is at all times, it may not be representative like this scene here where an agent is standing next to the president while they're making their meal. - So your job is to protect the president all the time. That's that's your whole job, right? - Yes. - The president's day is bifurcated into official duties and private time. So while the president may be in a relaxed demeanor, you still have to remain on point and focused on your job at hand. And that's why in this scene, we see the Secret Service agent maintaining his decorum throughout the entire scene. He's staying professional and focused on what he needs to do. If the president was to ever sit down and offer you food, most agents that I know would respectfully decline. - You have a gun? - Yes. - Ever use it? - Not yet. - A very common question to get. I thought the agent's response was a little bit cute which he said, "Not yet" indicating that Dave was starting to encroach on some some questions that that agent didn't wanna answer. If this was the president, the actual president, asking questions, you have to answer them truthfully. But again, you have to understand what is the context of the questioning. Even though we have top secret clearance, you actually can't divulge things even to the president that are compartmentalized information. - You know what I've always wondered about you guys, where they say that you'd take a bullet for the president. - What about it? - Is that really true? I mean, would you let yourself be killed to save his life? - Certainly. - So that means now you'd get killed for me, too? - They're protecting the office of the presidency. So it's something greater than the individual. And I think that's the point that the agent at the very end realized that this isn't about protecting Dave the decoy, or stopping a bullet for Dave the decoy, this is about the sanctity and protecting the office of the presidency. This film is "Angel Has Fallen" directed by Ric Roman Waugh. We see the president being attacked by drones while he is fishing on a lake. [drones whining] - Drones! They're drones! - Come with me, sir! - [Agent on radio] Art, get him under the ballistic hard cover and keep him down! I'm on my way! - So every president is going to have their own hobbies, and each one of those hobbies is gonna present a very unique challenge for the Secret Service. It doesn't matter what the activity is, you have to build that methodology around it. [men shouting] [drones whining] [electronic beeping] - [Agent on radio] [indistinct] Engage, engage! [guns firing] [intense music] - Don't move, don't move! They're tracking you somehow. - We see the president with one Secret Service agent in a single boat in the middle of the lake. This is something that's really anomalous. You wouldn't see. You would have the president with the security detail on one boat, but then you'd also have a chase boat with additional detail members on it, as well as military and medical personnel. Again, you're taking that environment that's established around the president and just putting it onto the water. - [Mike] Just hold still and keep him covered. I'm coming to you! [guns firing] - One of the reasons why I actually like this scene is because it actually represents a bonafide threat. We have seen recently occurrences overseas in Syria where drones have been utilized and weaponized to attack over the horizon. So this scene really does represent what a potential threat could be. There's a lot of technologies that are emerging today, in addition to drones, that really worry not only the Secret Service, but law enforcement in general. If you think about utilizing AI, machine learning, anything with deep fakes, videos. How do you create disinformation? How do you tap into communication systems? - [Mike] They're coming at you, boss. Get him in the water! The hard cover isn't enough! - What about you? - Go!