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Beltway Confidential

National Park Service head says he talked to White House before closing World War II memorial

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Beltway Confidential,Congress,Joel Gehrke,Barack Obama,Government Shutdown,National Park Service,National Parks

National Park Service director Jonathan Jarvis told Congress that he discussed his decision to close memorials and monuments during the government shutdown with White House and Interior Department superiors, but the final decision was his.

"I actually do not know who was on the phone," Jarvis told Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., when asked to identify who he talked to at the White House about the closures. Jarvis promised to provide that information after the shutdown, when staff would return and compile that information.

"We are retaining all of our records, as requested by the committee chairman," he said.

Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee believe that the National Park Service closed open-air monuments such as the World War II memorial in order to maximize the disruption caused by the shutdown.

When Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, asked Jarvis if he has "roughly the same number of security personnel on the Mall" that he had before the shutdown began, Jarvis said that he did.

Jarvis said that "our intelligence indicate that there has been an uptick ... in potential threats" on the Mall.

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