tv 1981 Assassination Attempt on President Reagan CSPAN May 6, 2017 10:31pm-11:56pm EDT
events to tell us their stories. it has been fascinating. we filmed them. it will be part of our archives. we could not be prouder of the content. tonight's event will explore the assassination attempt on president ronald reagan 26 years so march 30, just a week or ago. before we began i want to and thank our partner and sponsor supporter of the memorial fund. that is targeted and their distinguished -- that is target and their representatives are here tonight. thank you. i also want to thank washington at the
hilton hotel. this is a special place as it relates to tonight's event. a unique opportunity to talk about a historic moment at the place where the a session is an attempt occurred. -- where the assassination attempt occurred. this is one of our largest audiences. tonight's event is being streamed live on facebook and it is being filmed by the memorial national law enforcement museums are can be a permanent part of our archives for the benefit of future generations. we're pleased to have back with this, they filmed many of these events in the past and are here again tonight. the american history television c-span3, you can find it on your television. it airs on weekends. c-span check on the
website for specific dates and times. and you can find in a couple of different ways it should be up and airing very soon. we will also have this on our memorial website. you can go to law enforcement museum.org and sandy entire presentation from beginning to end. where the national law enforcement museum. i want to offer a brief introduction. founded in 1984, rebound and operate the national law enforcement officers memorial in judiciary square, the 400 block of the e street northwest washington. this monument was dedicated and honors the extraordinary service and sacrifice of all of america's policing
professionals. it bears the names of nearly 21,000 officers have made the ultimate sacrifice dating back in 1791.rst death the memorial includes the names of 29 members of the united states secret service dating back to the first death in 1902, douglas operative william craig will struck and killed by a presidentprotecting theodore roosevelt in the next, massachusetts. southern, more are added each year at our candlelight vigil. i love your invited to attend this show attributed 8:00 p.m. on the mesh in a saturday, may 13. to show we will be dedicating 394 new names to the memorial -- formerfull law-enforcement officials from 2016, monkey law enforcement here is from the best include
united states secret service assistant special agent in charge james collins, who suffered a heart attack while on duty in 1992. we're also it a leader and promoting safety and wellness. john ashcroft likes to say, there's no better way to honor the fallen them to stop the following. the following they family -- there's no better way to honor the fallen than to stop the falling. construction on the museum commenced a year ago. located at me for hundred block of e e street from the national memorial.
this largely a experiential museum will allow visitors to walk in the shoes of a law enforcement officer. through high-tech interactive exhibitions. the mission is to tell the story of american law enforcement and strengthen the bond between officers and those they protect. for more information go to our website located at law enforcement museum.org and you can sign up for the newsletter, we call it the insider. program, we will go back to march 30, 1991, president ronald reagan was newly inaugurated and speaking at a meeting at the washington hilton. it was a routine bankrate secret service special agent. the protective division who had been at the hilton many times
you for up. on that day, john hinckley assassinatepted to the president in order to draw the attention of the actress jodie foster. many, including our panelists, president reagan was rushed to the hospital where doctors were able to save his life and john hinckley junior was captured and arrested. tonight we will be a former secret service agents who will go that day, one who took a bullet for president reagan and a former fbi agent who led the subsequent investigation. and now the story of the assassination attempt on president reagan, the shooting that shocked our nation and the investigation led followed. at this time i would like to turn the program over to our moderator for the evening. for those of us from the area,
myself included, we know tom as a veteran journalist and a in politicsializing and government. he was the resident guest analyst every friday night on a is thelitics it race,hor of "dream city: power, and the decline of "ashington, d.c. [applause] >> the new edition is about the revival of washington, d c. it took 20 years. i want to think the audience for being here. it is important we learn from
history whether we agree with it or not. no one asked you to turn off your cell phones. i never asked that. rings, you phone have to stand up, put it on speaker, and then answer it. [laughter] >> i am going to get the discussion going. you can see the personal reactions. we know the outline from history. we're not expecting a monologue from the people asking questions or the panelists. let's set the stage. on march, 6, 1981, walter cronkite signed off as cbs anchor and dan rather took over.
in march of 1981 new price of a first-class stamp one up from $.15 to $.18. 9, 19 91, the first successful heart-one transplant occurred at stanford university. on march, 7, 1981, denver, colorado, worried parents confronted their son and of the advice of a psychiatrist gave their son a couple hundred dollars and said, "you're on your own." they are in man, that son, was john hinckley. panelists.me the former secret service agent tim mccarthy on my immediate right. [applause] >> former secret service agent agentspriggs, former fbi , there will be no
jurisdictional disputes tonight. [applause] [laughter] theresident reagan came to hotel to the big room to discuss the trade unions. the last words of his speech as he was leaving the home was he asked the union guys to work -- soim said that he quit that he could "make america ." at again a lot of people do not know that. they do now. agents, when the president was -- winning president
bar room our assignments. finally, what we refer to when the president then shake hands with the union representatives. some of us cannot up the stairs, others the elevator. we exited the hilton hotel. >> did you listen to the speech? >> none of the agents do, not really. >> mr. baker? mr. spritz, where you during the speech? i'd say a lot of people don't realize this but on that day i was not assigned to the protective agency, i was at the field office. of theld office has all manpower and resources whenever they president or vice president has a visit within the city or has of state. my assignment from the washington field office, was the intelligence team. my duty actually rose ahead of time once we were notified of the visit to do dude diligence
to make sure we identified individuals or groups or anything that might pose a threat to the president. during the time of these features in the ballroom but i was more conscience of where our posted.ere >> walking around. and mr. baker, you were assigned to the washington field office. will you initially doing that morning before the luncheon? don't forget our guests over there? we want to make sure we make eye contact with them for when the collection plate goes around. one thing. to know was unique at that moment and had an impact at the day is that the director of the fbi was out of town. he was in hillsboro, virginia, for the first of what will become annual meetings with the special agents in charge. so or special agent in charge was also with the director out
of town. so in those days they were to assist in agents in charge. i had the criminal division of the intelligence matters and i was in my car just leaving a meeting at fbi headquarters entering off the street when the commercial radio broadcast the shot int had just been front of the hilton and that was almost exactly at 2:30. >> we have heard a lot about the moment the president two t-street. shots rang out. six shots rang out. mr. mccarthy, you were wounded. where you are immediate reactions. reactions.ate someone said you immediately to a good post to protect the prison. in those initial reactions were redoing and thinking?
>> i'm going to take one second before we get there to recognize mr. j potter. away recentpassed --our bus who passed away our boss who passed away recently. him.less i forgot what we're talking about. >> just tell it is for that heart-pounding moment, what was it like? >> it was a reaction to training. we trained very intensely. the presidential protection division. the only way you can do something like that is based on reaction from training. much like police officers going down a dark alley. that is training.
i cannot say that about it. it was over and one .6 seconds. it was a direction below so my training. you would like to say who thought about it but i really did not. corrected way we're trying to react. i am very happy to say i was able to do it that way based on my training. i don't know if i can do it again. i don't want to find out. >> we saw during the presidential camp on mr. trump was picking on someone brought up the berry on february the five or six agents around mr. trump in a heartbeat. there are several techniques and the secret service at a into an training and practical exercises cover and evacuate. the arms reach. reach, youthin arms go for it. if not, you'd diverted. so there are two things you train for assembly and anything
a0p.alled principle. theory, go to the attacker if they are that close. >> no time to think. once the moment you are giants, where were you? walking out? >> i had just proceeded on to t street. tim is right. there is no way an individual stops to think. muslim memory comes into play. and i will know the even though you cannot think in that amount you are anticipating if?"if what you saw from tim,
jerry, and the other agents was basically the idea that 'what --what if something happens, what are you going to do? i recognize the shots going absolutely had seconds obviously to determine where the shots were coming from and at that time, you know, you saw the smoke from the weapon, you saw individuals moving towards the potential of saline and i moved him -- towards him as well. so even though you do not have time to think, you are anticipating "what if"? mr. mccarthy, you were shot in the right chest. >> walter cronkite got it wrong, will talk about that later. read you will wounded. and you been wounded before in the line of duty?
>> cuts and bruises, but not shot. my father was a chicago policeman. >> minded you realize you were shot? >> about the time i hit the ground. [laughter] >> i figured out why i was in. i saw a little blood on my shelf. i heard the gunshots, did not take much to put to him to together. concernne said there is that you would be run over by the presidential limousine because the number one concern is to get the president out and you will have >> misrepresentation. >> i hope so. ] aughter >> you want to the hospital also. >> yes, jim brady and i. the protocol. the three of us were there in different emergency rooms.
>> and you went and and ambulance came to get you? >> yes. the training we go through, you are assigned to protect the president. the agents go with the president. >> to be a humanitarian, that does not not this is a diversion and there could be a attack in another area. they came and took my radio and to go toaited with me the hospital. >> mr. baker, you were at the hotel, driving the speed limit. you get there, one of the things that is sunday unique is that the public and the media were way too close to where the bookdent was and it in one
it says, the secret service wanted people back. the white house wanted more of the a friendly atmosphere. when you got there, but did you see? >> ok. that particular controversy and cannot comment on because i do not know anything firsthand. to step back into another a.m. certain that the secret service agents were told about it, about the assassination of president entity and in the fbi we heard a lot about that, too. day, everybody in this room, there are also conspiracy theories and criticisms of the way things went online president kennedy was shot and it was drab impress we don't want this to
happen again. i am sure it was really driven to the secret service. so the minute i voted, and i had about a four-minute ride, they hilton -- which hilton is it at? whichne did not know hilton it was not because it literally just happened. the median is what the president when it happened. eventually i heard it and both hotels where of town so i continued headed up. i am driving there, i'm thinking, and i am sure the secret service people are thinking the same thing. cannot get in a fight. we have to think this up. we have to get it right. since a time i spoke to everybody involved and everybody had the same feeling. we have to do this play. so i was formulated thoughts in
my head as i want a pair and and on the bureau radio they were getting in touch with headquarters to send trucks for the labs arose during this as i went until i got there. off sixhinckley fired you went towards him. >> critical. >> why wasn't he shot? >> actually, i think i was the only secret service agent that had a shot at him and as i put like when favre to shoot at him, but i thought was an agent and it coming up across my line of fire. him later on fbi tapes and that not. that shot was only there for a millisecond. >> but you moved with him? i moved it some. shot as the intelligent agent
was to preserve the scene. towards the assailant and taken into custody. >> hell is he represented and moved out? i don't want to get hinckley under control and i presume into a car and #>> i think it was a citizen who had observed him was weapon was the first person who got their hands on hinckley and started moving his shoulders down. waslaw enforcement that there, the agents there, mike partner, dennis mccarthy actually drove into the crowd to make sure there was not going to be any additional firing. , likehers converged myself. got there there was some confusion. the new had the president fired the shot but then there was the issue of being able to constrain him. sure we could see his hands and handcuff him. there is confusion there because i was pulling on one end.
a sergeant was born on the other end. can i get the hands of times together so that is about half a second. then i had one hand on him in anotheryou know, it was agent, the nearest agent i could see, you probably saw the photograph where he brandished the uzi submachine gun and asked marker for ink. at that time the incident had already did it in the scene and women working to get them out of the area. we wanted to get them out of the area, we did not know if there were secondary people there. >> where was he taken? >> central subplot. much poets in central sublet. cell block. metropolitan central cell block.
one kessler plus book "the detail" he writes about this. >> i read excerpts of the book. there is not a controversy. it was a different time than. staff that dictated and still dictate what it could do. it had gone back for years that they had lobbied to use metal detectors. it was old technology by that time. and others had asked. the staff did not want you to seem like there was a secret atmosphere. besides the fact they knew how many threats work coming in. the fbi knows, too because they related to the secret service. that was not a secret service decision.
if we had our choice, the president would be transported in a blip of bubble. crid yu believeth imitating the area #>> while standing behind the rope line was deemed accessible on that day. >> do you believe in limiting the area? that day, standing behind a rope line was deemed appropriate but not by us. >> even now you can have disagreements. >> sure you can. i want to add about the issue of the clubbing to close. tim was spot on when he said it was an acceptable distance. we posted officers and agents.
to idea that they crowd was distance we was a could operate in post the mitigation. it was overplayed, the idea of the crowd was to close or you know, they were not far away enough. that is one of the things i am glad tim is here so we can clarify. >> the fbi view? after it involved happens. time.as the first the police,sheriff, allfbi, the secret service, trying to investigate this thing. the history books say it was badly mishandled.
we are trying to do things at the presently day. it was clear from the statute and protocol signed up by everybody that once there was an attack on the president, it was fbi responsibility. i had done a my mind but i also remember these bad stories about disagreements and arguments hand i must say across my mind as i was driving up very fast, faster than the speed limit of connecticut avenue, that oh my god i am going to bed and an argument or disagreement with on mydy here and that was mind. i got up. it was also in my mind that i had certain assignments. i knew immediately i had to give to other agents. i was the first to arrive on the scene. there is nobody for me to give assignments to.
laughter] >> and this is a good point i cooperation and coordination between all of the simplys involved, but the secret service, the washington metropolitan place, and the fbi turned out to be outstanding and i had this ,peration and i found out later ambulances were still arriving and kept arriving i assume long takenthe president was away. palin's kept arriving. the marines sent to heavy helicopters to the scene. kept arriving. the marines sent 2 heavy .elicopters two things happen. because we had worked and
traveled together in the past and the management of these three entities only 60 days before had worked together in the inauguration, we had exchanged and new each other and it knew each other's command post. the first person who came up to me as a lieutenant from the washington venture to -- metropolitan police department, who already had hinckley's gone. he said, and the gun and want to have a you. i said, for onto that. we need to show the chain of evidence. the second person who came up to me who was the assistant -- the special agent in
washington, d.c., field office, i have met them before and then him and thewith very first words out of his mouth is "you are fbi, you are in charge now." [laughter] >> those were his first words. i have no problem with that, i just have no one to give assignments to. and the daily was like that. there much collaborative. point fives in one seconds and you going towards akeley, it feels like a lot longer, doesn't it? >> exactly. the idea that they would've followed by an amount of violence and 1.4 seconds i think 1.4 seconds.
it just seems like, it does, you know, you hear about despicable talk about it in movies and whatnot, things seem to move in so motion. to me. how it was i could clearly see people put down. i saw tim was down. delahunty was down. i did none of the president was down. know the president was down. a mood orckley have of johnny hemood clear as he was taken into custody? ofwhen we got into the car,
his or the leased department was driving. i was in the rare. officer's point of the much belton police department was driving. the beltr sweeney of line police department was driving. >> in our records, he was a uniformed officer at the time. he was one of the guys who got the gun off of hinckley and gave it to lieutenant wilson. he is deceased now but he later and becamehe amp the the texan cap commissioner. i exceeded a great job. >> the teaming of john hinckley, a policy was not shot -- the demeanor of john hinckley, i am
surprised he was not shot. currency was very stoic. was not saying anything -- >> he was very stoic. i said we are not going to advise him of his right. no conversation. swain asked where i wanted to go. i said, central cell block, metropolitan police department. asked -- he asked if we knew the score of the basketball game. and we looked at him like -- i think there were a couple explained this dennis might have said to him. he was very stoic. did not say a word.
i reverted back to my training and the knowledge of the previous of assassination attempts. i just wanted to get him to a safe place and make sure officers were there in the garage area. i started thinking about that as a young agent. i really felt -- street.n l couple ofave been a them. >> i was thinking, it is a commercial district. back to the kennedy assassination, i knew i had a secure area going through the central cell block.
the scores of the ncaa game. my thing was to get him and married and start to identify him. >> agent macarthur you mentioned me shots were bringing out you do not know if it is one person, a diversionary tactic, you do not know. this is a classic case of what you call a lone wolf. somebody not part of a group or organization. one person. one of the most difficult persons today, a lone wolf own.g on her own or his >> the his assassin has been a single loan gunmen. even with me every as what i don't think there's any argument about who did it, but i think there are conspiracy theorists up there. but it was a rifle rather than a
revolver. and if you go back in history, it has been a lone gunman able to get close to the president. after march 1981, because of the detectorsvice metal were introduced the next day. no coincidence there has not 36-37n attack after years. metal detectors are not. -- metal detectors are not fireproof. -- metal detectors are not oolproof.r >> i cannot add much to that other than to say secret service
always reviews assassination attempts. obviously there are lessons to be learned from that. not only did -- there was more emphasis put on covered arrivals. subsequent to that, you saw presidents not being exposed as much. we were using tents to cover arrival and departure's. that is not to say that should have been done before but you know, you have to a just and adapt to environments. basic, fundamental skills training tactics is to cover and evacuate. basically you go from there. you adjust to the environment and the event. some events, you may have 20 people, some you may have 20,000 but the basic is still the same
exposure as the much as possible of your protecting. >> president reagan was a , who figured guy if you isolate the guy and he or she lives in a double, did they lose some contact with the very people they are leading? >> the secret service analysis, looking back on the loan gunmen, from the fbi point of view, that day we did not initially see it that way. the reality was that particular month, 60 days into ronald reagan's administration, the country was in a very highest rate of tension if you remember. solidarity in portland. the russians were threatening, removed in their ballistic fleet
along a coast they had never been so close to four. we did not know that at the time that we knew there was tension. several hours,t we did not know what we had here. we did not know somebody else is going to be attacked. so we handled this is a crisis. that there could be other attacks. it was only later in the day that it became available and the investigation began to unwind that we realize that we had. a mentally deranged young man. and for the first couple hours it was tents. that is how it was. 9/11, you weren't personal involved, but to remember what you were? >> yes, sure. chief of police in illinois and
i was going to the dentist office when i heard about it and got there, heard about it, and not home because you did know if this was a isolated, it was all over the country, but if your community could be next three had to go back and take precautions. >> on 9/11 i was assistant director for the fsf -- operation so when the event took place, got myself together to make sure we can identify where tees worm.tect thes then it was an immediate move to the crisis center for decision making. >> i know this is a diversion. >> i do remember. >> he would ask you the most out of left field questions. i am just trying to channel brian lamb.
laughter] >> i had just retired and i was at home that morning. i was at my house. all morning long, we heard the fire trucks coming from jurisdictions further to the west and going towards the pentagon. weren, four hours they coming and going and going and coming. i'd you are all retired now for your admirable service and thank you for your service. so this may be the shortest part of the panel. do you think the department of homeland security is a good idea ? [laughter] >> yes. i am retired and i am still chief of police. does not have a lot to do with me. i think there are two sides to that point. they are a large agency which
maybe has larger resources. they do not get the attention they once did in the treasury department. again, i have not been involved so i have heard both sides to tell you the truth from retired and active agents. there have been some negatives. >> that would be a good answer to run for office. >> absolutely. [laughter] >> that would be perfectly sliced right down the middle. the director tasked me to lead the transition and i is just tell you my position
to stay in the department of treasury. >> the fbi, looking for headquarters, big controversy about where it is going to go. what do you think about homeland security? affairs, and i know several people inherit our students of history. in history, whenever things are a crazies leaders feel they have to do something. so after september 11 they did one thing domestically, they created homeland security and shoved secret service and other agencies under this umbrella. they also created the office of national intelligence of you have the fbi, cia, other agencies, and they created this ofer office, the director national intelligence over the director of central intelligence and as far as i'm concerned, and there are several congressmen and senators of both parties who
feel this way and are trying to change it back, it just created another level of bureaucracy and another level of which through information rises and i think it was a mistake bed it is an understandable mistake. it is a public officials -- they feel they have to do something but they have created just another big level. >> i think it is an important conversation to have and arising out of the ronald reagan assassination attempt, 9/11, we're going to go back to john hinckley now but in a few minutes we're going to take questions. we have microphones on either side of the group. if you have a question, no monologues. the new york magazine this month has an interesting article about john hinckley that was to be released moving down to williamsburg, he has to check in with the secret service. he has a brother and sister who
i think still live on the west coast. his mother is 90-years-old or something. not by nature what is going to happen to john hinckley when his mother dies. quite sure -- not what is going to have to do john hinckley when his mother dies. do you have any personal thoughts or feelings much on heatley? -- about john hinckley? >> i do not have a lot of good christian thoughts about him, plain and simple. [laughter] >> many years ago when they started releasing him, they said we could not tell anyone we told you he was out. i finally asked after two years of telephone tag, but you keep calling me? do you think i worried he is out? he should be more worried that i
know he is out? give me a call if he comes to chicago. he has never stopped in chicago. my only comment about his releases he better be pretty -- the only way -- shooting anyone, injuring anyone, is of course a terrible act. shooting the president of the united states is a different type of act. dealing lady president of the united states should be removed by impeachment. that is what the secret services are about cognos to make sure the will of the people is executed. i'm skeptical about releasing someone who has committed an act like that. sarah jane moore as well as mr. hinckley. >> because of john hinckley's --
he was not convicted in a sense. he was confined because he was insane.o be one of the aftermaths was the defensederal insanity was changed. the insanity defense is not used as much anymore. can i point out -- >> i thought you were going to ask if you could curse. laughter] >> at midnight after we were picking up all the pieces after we're done research of johnny clay's room and all this other stuff, -- after we had done a search of john hinckley's room,
10 and i sat down and gave a lot of thought to, who would be the case agent. [applause] he did a great job. that, ihe course of kept my mouth shut, but i said isthis kid john hinckley crazy. you know? he and yet, the u.s. attorney office and everybody else, they thought there was an avenue for them to convict him of this. the trial went on for months. it was hinted by an outstanding u.s. attorney, someone you may know. the u.s. attorney at the time was check off.
president reagan about that? tell us a little bit about that? also, if you have questions please come up to the microphone. >> the last day i was in hospital, about 10 days i was there. i did not meet with the president or anything like that, he was injured more seriously. and twoast day, my wife of my children came up to get me. my daughter brought her nursing kid to make sure everything was care kit, sheing d. and my sonl.d 5-years-old.
i was told to come down to see the president. it sounded like an older to me. mrs. reagan was there. inches of black glass. was still hooked up to machines. is attracting the children. my wife was nervous and worried that the kids might finish the job that john hinckley started. laughter] >> the president of the united states did not know tim mccarthy from anyone. but later we had lunch and
dinner. or just about the door, it was time to go, we will then need to head to home in t stop this said, wait a minute. tim, it was mccarthy, reagan, brady -- what does this guy have against the irish? [laughter] certainly injected and a lot of humor. again, my family has been in law enforcement for a long time. we all know there were dangerous. he was a great example on
recovery. he did it for me that day. >> did you get to keep your badge? everything for me that was shot but they returned it to me. i got the retired badge, of course. >> we won't be seeing that on ebay, where we? >> maybe one day. could i just make a comment? other decisions we had to make it is, who is going to interview the president because he is one of the victims and potentially a witness. we came up with two agents. poblanksi and robin
montgomery. thing about them is they both had suffered gunshot wounds in vietnam. was a marine who was shot several times. the army and in was shot. we thought these two guys would be the best to interview the president because they could empathize with him. they could get his story down in get it down correctly. did a very good job, but when they came back to the field office and we were waiting for them to come back and they told us about it, they were like you and so many others knew met president reagan, they were just in awe.
anything. he said, i did not know what happened. but he said, how did you like my jokes? [laughter] >> he said, i knew i had to keep the spirit of the people up. >> thank you for your service. you alluded to this. forgive my ignorance, but how clear was it that shots were fired? , howng now was happening generally you in your job, how well can you know that a shot is being fired and it is not some other source? >> i don't think you always do. the reporter gave me a picture of myself going for mike air my air forceg for
weapon. danny can probably remember things like that, a balloon popped. what itt know exactly is but certainly you have to act under the impression that it .ould be gunshots but you don't >> is in training that you actually hear the entrance are fired? what type of weapon was it? >> 22 caliber. i had a little bit of an advantage in that during that time i was also part of the newly formed counter assault team. or cat team is the acronym denotes. part of that is to be able to identify the type of wound. different type of rounds.
hadd advantage because i this training taking place at this time and i was assigned to the washington field office so most of the folks had been training and can identify different types of caliber weapons that are being fired at them so some of our folks had the ability to do that. exit said fbi training? i'd snow. i do any of you on weapons? >> yes. that fbi training? no. >> do any of you own weapons? >> yes. >> brand-new shotgun. going to shoot some birds with it. and a commemorative machine gun which i got years ago from someone as a gift.
everasked one, have you fired a joint weapon in the line of duty and she said, yes once. she had to shoot a dog was diseased. she felt terrible. do you carry guns? it is a tremendous rate. you could make a mistake and you would be in front of congress or the media or someone like me asking chance. we aresecret service, alluding to this, the secret service does not have a special use of force policy over anyone else. reason you fire a weapon is of july for some analysis is an danger. it does not mean you can fire into a crop. those only one incident where you can fire under very difficult circumstances and that is when you have a clear field
of fire. we have no special dispensation for use of force. you just don't fire into crowds. we strained should be commended. two areas.ave in 1981 did the secret service offer or issue ballistic vests? >> i wish you did not ask that. >> we had very good vests that will form fitted. tests were different then wreered to what -- vests ere different. can bey are light and practically rolled up into a ball. them ifonly had to wear
there was sure threat. vestss ago b weren't that good. afterwards, someone sent me a picture of my vest hanging up on a anger. if i admit wearing it, i would have walked away. >> i think it actually started bed we got tophon a policy where was mandatory bed anytime the president or any was out, that vests were necessary, not discretionary.
talk about john he clique, his back on, did he have any marksmanship training and wedding was like to go into is his house or talk to his family? hinckley wethen of the first things did, and i think i could be mistaken, i was told right away that john hinckley was taken to d then moved to the homicide office there but they made the same decision the police and secret service made that they were not going to attempt to interview him. and i was told, he is sitting there. we chose to agency by reputation good are considered very interviewers. they were sent to the homicide
office and they said when they walked in there, john hinckley was just sitting in a chair handcuffed waiting for them. they come from there to the fbi portions of the office and interviewed him at that point. during the course of this process they learned where he had been staying, a hotel but no longer exists called central hotel. another agent was given the assignment. he was given the assignment by me because i made a mistake. earlier than you agents were assigned i would meet them. law school where
military and i would meet in great depth. he came in with another guy and they looked alike. i was very young, they were younger than me. the other guy was a graduate of notre dame lost ground. the two in my head. we had an affidavit for a search warrant and i thought, have tom bush do it. he had never gone to law school. [laughter] >> he did a great job. perfect search warrant. got the affidavit. got it from a judge. about 9:00 at night, i left the hilton. it had a command post set up.
went and participated, observed they search. i don't think any secret service was witness but the mpd with us to search the room and that is probably got an inkling about john hinckley. desk. dresser, little on his desk he had laid out very neatly in the article from that morning's newspaper which showed the president's whipped for the day -- the presidential route for the day. they had where the president would be each hour of the day. he had encircled and red lettering the desk. he had a statement in the form of a letter to the actress jodie foster telling her that today he was doing this world historical andt to win her love
affection. we photographed everything before attached a thing. then someone had the idea, they even processed the room for finger prints. some of the attorneys asked us why we checked for fingerprints, we said just in case any conspiracy theories come up we want to see what else was in the room. "i"e just trying to. every "t."ross every other angere any prints? >> a yes. of all kinds of people. --any other england prints finger pritns?
>> yes. of all kinds of people. in terms of the districts, is the hilton unique in terms of having one of those limousine bankers? year afterbout one that. we continue to come here but we tinted it to cut down the line of sight. it was about 1.5 years before they finished the construction of the bunker. >> is somewhat controversial. you get underground into a bunker and you can be blocked in. there have been different views on that over the years where tents were better outside or proposecould significant threats especially with car bombs.
changesry of protection with the times. >> i have been looking protective division on three different occasions and i have never seen a hotel location that has actually constructed -- you: it a bunker --but all of the places i've been with protecting these i have not seen anything like that. that is a huge ballroom, and behind where the speakers are there is this long hallway that was not known by many people and that was the way you could get to the bathroom which was pretty safe. their was thethat
nuclear football laying on the ground after the incident? is that true or just a warmer? and i am curious about what happened to the bullet that was in you? >> he kept possession of it. he jumped in a cap. cab. jumped in a he did the right thing. he got down low. off the road.took he ended up jumping in a cab and going to the white house. >> i have a couple complaints with the fbi. [laughter] >> that is why they aren't sitting next to each other. >> they took my new shirt, tires, shoes, and never gave
them back. bed to keep them for evidence. of course, the government reimbursed me. now that the reagan library, i think they have the shirt. i think the weapon is out at the library in dsimi valley. >> i think some of these artifacts are going to get to a museum. >> would you like a bullet to be in the museum? >> i don't care where it goes. [laughter] >> but this gentleman mentioned about the football, so many photographs of the actual shooting, you can see the gentleman who does have the so-called football and you can hardly see it probably learned is there is a thing called the authentication card which is like an atm or credit card and has holes punched in and that
cannot be activated until the president puts the authentication card in the football and ronald reagan had the authentication card in his pocket. the only thing in his pocket was the authentication card and is valid. clothing,ike thames albany president and tim were taken to the emergency room, the emergency professionals cut off all their clothing and it fell to the floor. the fbi team that went to the hospital led by a guy named dan sullivan who we lost just a few months ago, the insulin and his team went there and that became the crime scene. thead a crime scene at hospital because of all the stuff there. the recovered from the floor,
dan sullivan and his team, the president's clothing with his other debris that felt down there and the card was there. and i remember the next day, we and passing this card back forth and someone was laughing and i started to laugh, too, and blanke, i have these ty-blank people to the right. you get these political people putting their two cents and bugging you about things and he all want to know about this card. this is the card the president has to slip into the football
and i said, we should get extra commendation. [laughter] >> and they said, they want the card back. i said we shouldn't and they said, would you want to do is start a nuclear war? [laughter] back. they didn't get it but we held onto the president's clothing and stuff like that. eggs i think would happened on this day flagged amazing reactions and flagged at -- >> i think what happened that day flagged amazing reactions. i would be wanting to happen but you'd think it now when you see television shots of the president. the agents at a pretty far distance. the line of sight "stop what do
you think now is going on in terms of securing and making sure there is not a repeat of what happened with you all this state? >> there will always be a tension between security and stuff but i do not want you to think that because the president -- there might be an expansive view of the president -- that there are not security measures to address that. such things as counter snipers and things such as that. so don't think that is a security issue. danny is the opposite for those and knows that better than i do. remember, presidents are politicians. their staff wants him to press the flesh, meet the public, not be isolated. there will always be that tension between security and stuff. we should not isolate the president to much.
he is still elected by the people. overseen by the people. i think there is a balancing act. we needed to do what we do. some presidential staff wants us farther away than others as you can imagine. president reagan wanted right next to him, at least mrs. reagan did. president carter and president bush, too. that will always be there. times, it is a higher level. never been a change but i'm with the associated press and security for the associated press so i always get the questions because to the layperson or press people, they say i cannot believe the president is that express. i am confident and i think tim
is, too, as well as former agents, when i see that it tells perimeter her security -- inner perimeter security has expanded. they are not going to -- if there was a need for those agents to be shoulder to shoulder than that with time he that they have a huge concern about that perimeter security, ok? the fact they are able to loosen up, give more lot of sight, tells me they have enhanced those measures in that inner, middle, and outer perimeter. >> and there is more than one perimeter. i can assure you the presidential protective division is the last line of defense between the security threat and the president. but, there are other parameters and protection is a team sport. the secret service cannot do it
alone. we do it with mpd, civilian fbi, it ishe a team sport. if any one of those members on the third or fourth parameter makes a mistake, there are others. it is a team sport. let's face it, and the society and political climate we live in, there are people who want to harm not only our president and vice president but many of our political leaders. so technology will evolve and security will evolve. christ you want to have ace -- >> do you want to have a closing statement? can tell each and everyone
one of you with a great deal of confidence that the men of when -- men and women of the secret service come to work everyday to do the best possible job they can do. i trusted my center that outfit. i would not if i did not think the training and resources did not only allow them to do their jobs but also to keep him safe. so i think the public should be proud of the organization. they had some hiccups along the line, ok? [laughter] >> as many of you have addressed. we all know that every now and then the hired help strays a little bit. they get off kilter a little bit. and i tell you right now, we are talking about total dedication of the men and women that have this unbelievable task not only
for physical protection but also to show the integrity of the financial system in this country. >> thank you agent baker, your thoughts? lesson from that day of the attack at the hilton was cooperation and the importance of knowing your partner's hand counterparts. because we have worked together on several events including the inauguration before hand, to people ine -- the key the secret service were known to me and i was known to them. you cannot walk in at the scene of a crises and start handing out business cards. people need to in seeing your face before hand. that was the case here. director, the general manager of this hotel, a man named it will smith, we had worked with him on several projects. we knew the director of
security. we see him in some of the photographs of the president coming and going. the police officer, director security here, in that crowd, and those first five minutes in addition to secret service and the washington edge poulton police -- and the washington metropolitan police, we did two sweeps of worms and -- we did - two sweeps oform rooms. we had a nubbin command post. command post.
all knew each other. even today with all of the communications equipment, knowing your counterpart is a lesson we day.ed that >> thank you very much, gentlemen. we were wrapping up early. it will give you chance to have one-on-one conversation. i want to thank you for coming. he skimmed the surface of the amazing moment in history. we honor those surveyed in law enforcement. serve in law enforcement. panel andthank the everyone for coming. a round of applause.
[applause] notebook here. i took down a few remarks. the media will focus on the bad things. [laughter] all.ank you [indiscernible conversation] announcer: you are watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. us on facebook. sunday on q&a, november correspondent on the navy involving that leonard