A California man arrested on the White House grounds last week was on the property for a quarter-hour before being caught, the Secret Service acknowledged Friday.
Jonathan Tuan Tran, 26, spent more than 16 minutes on the grounds of the executive mansion prior to being apprehended outside the White House on the evening of March 10, the Secret Service said in a statement, all the while President Trump was inside.
The initial breach occurred at 11:21 p.m. when the trespasser made his way over a fence near the adjacent Treasury complex, its statement said. He then managed to make his way over another fence and an 8-foot-tall gate before he was detected and taken into custody on the White House grounds without incident at 11:38, according to the agency.
The Secret Service is “extremely disappointed and angry” over how the events transpired, the agency said Friday.
“Immediate steps have been taken to mitigate lapses in security protocols even as the investigation continues,” the Secret Service said, including additional posts, technology enhancements and protocols.
Nonetheless, its delayed response time drew fire from critics Friday who has reportedly prompted a congressional probe.
“That just shows the president is not safe there — in the White House. The Secret Service does not have the assets, they don’t have personnel on the ground they need to keep him safe,” former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino told Fox News on Friday.
“The Secret Service cannot even keep one person off the grounds - what will they do if 40 terrorists charge the White House?” asked Mr. Bongino, who previously protected former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “And believe me the terrorists are already thinking about that.”
House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz told the acting director of the Secret Service on Friday that his committee has begun investigating the incident, CNN reported.
“We spend billions of dollars on personnel and dogs and technologies and fences and undercover people and video surveillance,” the Utah Republican told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday. “And yet the person is able to get up close to the White House and spend 17 minutes before he’s apprehended. That’s unbelievable.”
Mr. Chaffetz asked the current head of the Secret Service to provide evidence including documents and video to his committee by 5 p.m. Monday, CNN reported.
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