Bear Grylls: The day I thwarted President Obama’s security

The ex-SAS soldier made headlines when he took the American President trekking across Alaska in 2015 for his hit show Running Wild With Bear Grylls.

But in a new interview, Bear said Obama’s security detail saw red when he served up the salmon which had been scavenged by the hungry animal. They even tried to fake the scene by swapping it for one cooked by a White House chef.

Bear, 49, said: “The White House guys said to us, ‘What are you going to do about eating and drinking?’

“I said, ‘Our crew found this salmon carcass on the river bank which has been half eaten by a bear’.

“It was super fresh, so I told them, ‘We can keep it on ice, put in the backpack and pull it out and we can eat it’.

“But the White House staff said, ‘That is not happening. First of all, the President never eats or drinks on camera. We’ll get his chef to prepare a salmon and bring it out on the journey and swap it with the salmon you have’.

But despite their efforts, Bear says Obama shrugged his shoulders and ate the half-eaten salmon anyway.

Bear recalled: “We got to that point and the President looked quite surprised as I pulled out this half eaten salmon.

“I thought I’d see if we could get away with it. We just ignored them and tucked into it. Good for him.”

The one-hour TV special showed the pair bonding around a fire and hiking in the Kenai mountains.

Bear admits he tested his questions out on his wife Shara beforehand. He said: “The night before my wife said, ‘What are you going to ask him?’ I said, ‘I was thinking does he play hide and seek with his kids in the White House?’

“She went, ‘Oh Bear, No. It is going to be a disaster’.

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“But we did keep in touch and actually went to visit him in the White House.” Bear continued: “I knew there would be Secret Service involved but I did not realise how many. The first day there were about 60 of them.

“I remember waiting on a riverbank and there were helicopters every two minutes and snipers in the mountains.

“Obama said it was one of the best days of his Presidency as he was out of the office and not being grilled about politics. And it was fun giving him tips like, ‘Avoid fornicating bears’.”

Earlier this year Bear came face to face with another world leader when he travelled to Ukraine to meet President Zelensky to speak about the ongoing war for a TV special.

But looking back, Bear regrets he grew a handlebar moustache for the occasion, laughing: “My moustache wasn’t so great for that show. I’m lucky to be married to a really smart lady who said to me, ‘You are going to regret that’. And of course she was right.”


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