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Press drivers in Trump motorcade replaced after firearm found

By Ed Adamczyk
Three drivers of vans in President Donald Trump's motorcade were replaced Monday at the president's South Florida resort after one forgot to remove a personal firearm from his baggage. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/cd1cbef1a8ad865c55307fff0f3d9921/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Three drivers of vans in President Donald Trump's motorcade were replaced Monday at the president's South Florida resort after one forgot to remove a personal firearm from his baggage. File Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The driver of a press van following President Donald Trump's motorcade in South Florida was detained on Monday after a firearm was found in his baggage.

The driver, who's a contractor and not a White House employee, said he neglected to leave his personal weapon inside his vehicle before driving the van.

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The van was one of three that carried the White House press corps, which trails the president and his entourage when they travel.

The weapon was found during a security screening about an hour before the press corps joined the presidential motorcade, which traveled from Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., to the Trump International Golf Course in nearby West Palm Beach.

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The driver with the firearm was not allowed onto the resort property, and all three press corps drivers were replaced by White House staffers.

A U.S. Secret Service report on the incident noted that the driver was "briefly detained" after he was found "in lawful possession of a prohibited item outside the secure area at a Secret Service security screening checkpoint." It added that "At no time was any Secret Service protectee in danger or impacted. All Secret Service security measures worked."

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Also Monday morning, another van grazed a Secret Service vehicle at the golf club.

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Monday's was Trump's first public appearance since Friday, when he met with first responders and injured victims of the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Trump has no official functions scheduled for Monday, which is a federal holiday. He is expected to return to Washington Monday evening.

Sunday, Trump met privately at Mar-a-Lago with House Speaker Paul Ryan. A White House statement said the two "discussed a wide variety of topics, including securing our nation's borders through immigration reform, the continued benefits the American people are experiencing as a result of tax reform, the overwhelming need to improve our Nation's infrastructure, and the recent tragedy in Parkland, Fla."

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