It’s not a new problem, but it is an embarrassing one for the Secret Service. Multiple people in recent years have been able to breach White House security. Now two agents have been fired following an incident which occurred on March 10, according to CNN.
Jonathan Tran, 26, of California, was able to jump multiple fences, beginning with one at the Treasury building that sits adjacent to the White House, and wasn’t caught until he was just steps away from the door of the executive mansion. The two Uniformed Division officers with the Secret Service who were fired over the incident each had less than one year of experience on the job.
Also according to CNN, six other breaches that have occurred in recent years include:
- November 26, 2015: a man draped in an American flag climbed the fence.
- September 19, 2014: a veteran armed with a knife jumped the fence and made it inside the executive mansion.
- October 3, 2013: a woman was shot and killed after hitting a barricade near a security checkpoint and fleeing.
- November 11, 2011: a man from Idaho shot a rifle toward the White House, hitting the residential wing multiple times.
- November 9, 2009: a couple who starred on the ill-fated “The Real Housewives of D.C.” crashed a state dinner.
- April 9, 2006: the fourth time a New Mexico man was caught jumping the White House fence.
Former secret service agent Dan Bongino said on “Your World with Neil Cavuto” that the recent firings were surprising:
“This is really unusual, you know. I’ve seen operational failures before. Let’s segregate it. We have behavioral failures: the Columbia incident, overseas scandal everyone is familiar with. So, we’re not talking about those. We’re talking about operational failures like this where a guy jumps the fence, maneuvers around the grounds for 17 minutes. These things have happened before. Sadly. Just, they haven’t received a lot of media attention.
I have never seen the ax come down on employees like this, and I spent 12 years with the Secret Service. I think it’s a reflection of the Trump administration’s commitment to just a no-excuses mentality. It’s not a political statement, it’s just a fact. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Security breaches have long been a problem for U.S. presidents. According to The Lincoln Log, in March 1864, two different sources reported that President Abraham Lincoln was “disturbed in the morning by Francis Xavier.” Xavier made it to Lincoln’s bedroom where he began a speech that “proved” he was elected to the presidency in 1856. The sources are the Evening Star (Washington, DC), 28 March 1864, 2d ed., 2:5 and the Washington Chronicle, 29 March 1864.