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McCain to Meet With Secret Service

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MEMPHIS — Sen. John McCain intends to meet with Secret Service officials in the next several days in preparation for accepting security protection for the final several months of his White House bid.

McCain plans to meet with the Secret Service next week, he said in an interview for broadcast Sunday on Fox News.

"I think that it's important as we get more and more visibility, that we recognize the inevitable," McCain said. "And so we will be talking with them early to arrange for, very soon, some Secret Service protection."

McCain made the disclosure after the head of the Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, took the unusual step of discussing McCain's lack of government security at an open meeting Thursday with members of the House Appropriations Committee.

McCain aides said they did not know precisely when McCain would agree to accept the protection.

The Arizona senator has effectively wrapped up the Republican presidential nomination.

"Statutorily, he is not required to take protection," Sullivan said when asked about McCain's security during a hearing on the agency's budget. "As far as an actual request, we have not gotten one. We have no involvement at this point."

McCain has said previously he does not want Secret Service protection, fearing it would interfere with his brand of intimate campaigning with voters. McCain also has said he'll try to last as long as he can without it.

"I've never done it. After we won New Hampshire in 2000, they really tried to get us, but we said no," McCain said last November while campaigning in Concord, N.H. "It's an invasion of your ability to have contact with voters."