WASHINGTON (WJZ)—Two days. Two intruders. It’s the latest in a string of security breaches at the White House. Now many are wondering if the nation’s capital is safe.
Investigative reporter Mike Hellgren has more on the concerns and what is being done.
A series of troubling incidents in and around the White House have raised concerns over security.
A woman with a gun was arrested during the president’s address Thursday night. Authorities arrested a man with more than 40 rounds of ammo and a rifle in his trunk the day before that. And two people—including a man from Bel Air—managed to make it over the fence late September.
“You have to get intelligence to find out where the bad people are, where the crazies are,” said Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, (D)-Maryland.
Dan Bongino worked in the Secret Services’ elite presidential protective division under president’s Bush and Obama.
“It’s very hard to get into their heads, but the result is what really matters. The result is they wind up at the White House causing a security problem for the Secret Service, and that’s why I think they’re goina focus even more assets on the protective services front,” Bongino said.
This month, the Secret Services active director told lawmakers the agency is damaged.
“I identified three main areas of concern. One was staffing, one was training and obviously the morale as well,” said Joseph Clancy, Secret Service acting director.
Breaches that raised the most concern involved Veteran Omar Gonzalez, who made it all the way into the East Room. Investigation revealed an agent missed him because the agent was talking on his personal cell phone.
Another fence jumper, Dominic Adesanya, is from Harford County. His father told WJZ that his son suffers from mental illness.
“The bottom line is the Secret Service is a good organization. It has new leadership now, and hopefully they can avoid any problems like this becoming more serious,” said Rep. Andy Harris, (R)-Maryland.
Solutions range from a higher fence to better training. There’s no room for error.
Secret Service leadership has blamed budget cuts, training and staffing issues but say that is still no excuse.
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