The Democratic presidential nominee and his wife, Jill, were climbing the plane ladder from their motorcycles at Johnstown-Cumbria County Airport when a man with a camera tucked behind the plane and down his left, into the small airport Tarmac But made his way The duo boarded to join a group of credential press corps traveling with Biden.
Soon after the aircraft arrived in the area under the wing, the man was interrupted by a Secret Service agent and physically removed. The man hoisted an orange pass around his neck, proclaimed himself to be the photographer, and initially tried to pull him over, opposing the agent.
CBS News was part of Biden’s limited travel press corps and saw the change under the plane.
Airport general manager Chad Gontkovic told CBS News that the man either jumped the green, six-foot fence near the small terminal where a few dozen people gathered or barged into the tents. The unidentified man drove Biden’s plane about 75 yards away, surrounded on all sides by secret service agents, motorcycles of more than eight cars, and other local law enforcement.
“A member of the media was credited with an incident earlier in the day for attempting to reach the airport’s Tarmac for the departure of presidential candidate Biden,” a Secret Service spokesman said in a statement. “The person confronted law enforcement, disobeyed their instructions, and accessed the tarmac. US Secret Service personnel caught the man and drove him out of the area.”
The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
FBI agent and security consultant Katherine White told CBS News, “The Secret Service was able to stop this person with a camera in his hand, but the frightening reality is that it could be a gun.”
“What happened today was a breach of security, but not necessarily a violation of protocol,” Schwitt said. “When this happens, the Secret Service will reassess whether their protocols were appropriate or not, and I am sure that is going on right now to ensure that the Vice President remains safe in the future halt.”
Due to COVID-19 security procedures, Biden’s campaign allows a small “pooled” press corps representing a dozen people TV, radio and print reporters, along with still photographers, to follow Biden’s every move. Follows as his motorcycle and events.
The trip undergoes a security sweep each morning by Secret Service agents before joining the Press Corps Biden.
As the next president, Biden’s travel security is tight. Motorcycles and a security perimeter flocked the candidate on Friday as security drove the former vice president from his home in Wilmington, Delaware to travel to the New York City 9/11 Memorial and then Flight 93 National via Pennsylvania . Memorial.
Biden exited Johnstown Airport after meeting local volunteer firefighters in nearby Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The Democratic presidential nominee was granted full Secret Service patronage in March as protesters attended his podium on Super Tuesday and were forcibly removed by Jill Biden and other campaign aides.
Arden Farry and Andy Try contributed to this story.