Cuccinelli: 'Online Chatter' But No Specific Threats on Biden Rehearsal Acting Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli (Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 15 January 2021 09:35 AM
The rehearsal for President-elect Joe Biden's upcoming inauguration has been delayed one day following "online chatter" but no specific threats about Sunday's plans, while the national terrorism threat level has not yet been increased, acting Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli said Friday.
"The decision was made to delay a day and leave the Secret Service in a position, and the whole team across the Washington metro area, to be prepared to respond on that day if needed," Cuccinelli said on CNN's "New Day." "It is going to take place on Monday, is the current schedule. Secret Service is in charge of running that schedule, but that's done in partnership with the Biden team, and it was their decision to delay a day."
Cuccinelli added that there are at this time "no specific credible threats" about the inauguration rehearsal plans. "There’s just this raised level of tension, and so we’re raising our security level, and we’re doing it across the country," said Cuccinelli, commenting on information learned in a meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray and other law enforcement professionals.
He added that "no particular state capital was mentioned or identified, just this evaluated online chatter that indicates a higher level of tension right now."
Cuccinelli also said that on the day after the attack on the Capitol, the DHS transition team offered Biden's security team the opportunity to "onboard people" before the inauguration, in a "highly unusual" step so it could see the preparation and final execution of security arrangements from the inside, but it has not taken them up on it yet.
"We have continued to brief them regularly and they've had access to all the information they've requested on that," he said.
Meanwhile, a decision has not yet been made to raise the national terrorism threat level, said Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli also discussed the attacks on police officers at the Capitol, commenting that they had suffered because of a failure by their "own leadership."
"When the whole department doesn't prepare for possibilities, then individual officers get put in very difficult decision-making positions," said Cuccinelli. "We want to be able to deal with these situations out front and the Capitol Police who was responsible for this really failed to do it."