President Bush Rescues Secret Service Agent
It was a rare moment of role reversal — U.S. President George W. Bush coming to the aid of a man paid to protect him. Upon arriving for an official dinner with world leaders gathered for the annual APEC summit on Saturday night, the president stopped after hearing commotion at the door of the Estacion Mapocho Cultural Center. According to a videotape of the incident, Bush turned around and saw that one of his Secret Service agents was being forcefully restrained from entering by Chilean Chilean security guards. The president dove into the crowd, where people were arguing and pushing one another, and pulled the agent through the door of center. After the successful rescue, Bush turned around, cocked his head proudly at his maneuver and began to greet his hosts.
The White House is downplaying the incident as an unfortunate misunderstanding with Chilean security services. “There was some confusion over whether the president’s Secret Service agent could accompany him to the dinner, but the issue was resolved,” White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan told CNN.
The president is in the Chilean capital for the weekend Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, making his first international trip since winning a second term on November 2.
President Bush stepped into the middle of a confrontation and pulled his lead Secret Service agent away from Chilean security officials who barred his bodyguards from entering an elegant dinner for 21 world leaders Saturday night.
Several Chilean and American agents got into a pushing and shoving match outside the cultural center where the dinner was held. The incident happened after Bush and his wife, Laura, had just posed for pictures on a red carpet with the host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and his wife, Luisa Duran.
As Bush stepped inside, Chilean agents closed ranks at the door, blocking the president’s agents from following. Stopping for more pictures, Bush noticed the fracas and turned back. He reached through the dispute and pulled his agent from the scrum and into the building. The president, looking irritated, straightened his shirt cuffs as he went into the dinner. The incident was shown on APEC television. “Chilean security tried to stop the president’s Secret Service from accompanying him,” said White House deputy press secretary Claire Buchan. “He told them they were with him and the issue was resolved.”
Two rather different takes on the same incident. Pretty amusing either way.
Daily Recycler has the video.