Jeh Johnson Concerned About ‘Possibility of Violence’ at GOP, Dem Conventions

July 14, 2016

Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson said he was concerned about the "possibility of violence" at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions while testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee on Thursday.

The Republican convention begins Monday in Cleveland, Ohio, while the Democratic convention will be held July 25-28 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The parties will nominate Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton at the respective conventions, in the midst of a particularly charged political environment.

"I am concerned about the prospect of demonstrations getting out of hand," Johnson said. "I am concerned about the possibility of violence. We have, within DHS, some 3,000 personnel that will be dedicated to the security of the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National convention, each."

He repeated later that he had concerns but there was plenty of security and preparation in place.

The Republican convention in particular expects security concerns due to Trump’s controversial campaign, with thousands expected to protest both for and against his candidacy.

According to the Associated Press, FBI Director James Comey also addressed Thursday the potential for violence at the conventions:

FBI Director James Comey said there will be "hundreds of people" from the bureau focused on assessing intelligence related to groups that aspire to commit acts of domestic terrorism.

"Anytime there’s a national spotlight on a political event in the United States there’s a risk that groups that aspire to do just that, to engage in acts of domestic terrorism, will be attracted," Comey said. "It’s a threat we're watching very, very carefully."