WASHINGTON (CNN) – A Secret Service source confirms that there have been contacts to arrange a meeting to discuss possible protection for Senator John McCain. The source tells CNN the contact was initiated by the McCain campaign.
Two sources, one in the campaign and one in the government, tell CNN there has been occasional contact for some time, although the presumptive Republican nominee himself has long declined a security detail. The discussions centered on issues like the potential risk of certain locations, though nothing that has ever reached the point of a specific or worrisome threat.
A sit-down meeting between McCain aides and top agency officials was scheduled to take place several weeks ago - before yesterday's congressional testimony by Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan that the Arizona senator was not currently protected by an official security detail - but that discussion was postponed by the campaign.
That meeting had been scheduled to discuss a timetable for the eventual addition of protection, one that both sources now say they expect to be accelerated, and to begin in the near future (though no specific date has yet been set.) A detail is ready; candidate details teams have been training for months, and there is a McCain team ready to go on very short notice.