By LOUIS FLORES
Escalating tension between the de Blasio administration and the transition team working, in part, out of the Midtown Manhattan apartment of President-elect Donald Trump erupted over social media on Tuesday. After a potential security threat at Trump Tower was deemed to have been a false-alarm, Eric Phillips, a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) offered to send a bill for security costs to Sean Spicer, a spokesperson for President-elect Trump.
Mr. Phillips' tweet was denounced by the Trump transition team, and a public relations tussle played out in the mainstream media. A panel of commentators on a morning news program on the MSNBC cable news channel denounced the tone emanating from the de Blasio administration as "pathetic."
The provision of security for President-elect Trump is being coördinated in partnership between various law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service and the New York Police Department, and the Office of the Mayor of the City of New York, according to a press release issued last month by the U.S. Secret Service. "The long-term success of security planning in New York City is directly tied to the long standing, strong relationship between the United States Secret Service and the New York Police Department," read, in part, the press release.
It is not known if the political quarreling taking place between the de Blasio administration and Federal officials over the cost of the provision of security to President-elect Trump may be undermining the coöperation required by the security partnership, which relies on participation by the Mayor's Office. A U.S. Secret Service spokesperson declined to comment for this report, and the City Hall press office refused to answer several advance questions submitted by Progress Queens for this report. The City Hall press office refused to explain why Mayor de Blasio has objected to using Municipal taxpayer monies to pay for security for President-elect Trump at the same time when the Mayor's Office has been criticised for using Municipal taxpayer monies for campaign ad-like video campaign.
Trump Tower, where President-elect Trump makes his primary residence, is not as secure as other buildings where important Federal operations are based. The November U.S. Secret Service press release announced that aspects of security would change over time. "As a matter of practice, security plans will evolve in order to address emerging threats and to improve efficiencies in its operations." By way of comparison, for example, security at the Jacob Javits Federal Building in Lower Manhattan was improved after the Sept. 11 attacks by the construction of a pavilion along its Broadway façade.
As the U.S. Secret Service remains mum about the tension between Mayor de Blasio and Federal officials over the cost of the provision of security to President-elect Trump, Mayor de Blasio weakened security around Trump Tower by ordering the reöpening of a portion of West 56th Street near Trump Tower.
The extremist rhetoric that propelled the campaign of President-elect Trump to win the November general election has, in the past, spawned various security scares, at least one described as serious and at least one described as a false alarm.