The Secret Service says its employees are upset with how long it took agents to apprehend a White House fence jumper earlier this month.
“The men and women of the Secret Service are extremely disappointed and angry in how the events of March 10th transpired,” the Secret Service said in a publicly shared statement Friday evening.
This stands in contrast to President Trump’s praise of the Secret Service for their efforts to capture the intruder the day after the incident. The “Secret Service did a fantastic job last night,” Trump told reporters Saturday.
The Secret Service said that after conducting over 50 interviews and reviewing radio transmissions and video footage it had concluded that the intruder was on the loose within the White House perimeter for more than 16 minutes on the evening of March 10 before being apprehended.
“At 11:21:38 pm an individual breached an outer perimeter fence near the Treasury complex, near East Executive Avenue,” the statement read. “This fence is approximately 5 feet in height. The individual proceeded within the secure perimeter and scaled an 8 foot vehicle gate. The individual then proceeded to climb over a 3 ½ foot fence near the SE corner of the East Wing of the White House grounds. Uniformed Division Officers attempted to ascertain the location and identity of the individual. At 11:38:00 pm, the individual was taken into custody on the grounds without incident.”
The individual did not gain entry into the White House, the statement noted.
An earlier report Friday from the Washington Examiner, citing two Secret Service sources, said that the intruder, identified as Jonathan Tran, was on the grounds for about 20 minutes before he walked up to the back door of the White House and approached a Secret Service officer saying he had an appointment with the president.
The Secret Service said it has taken “immediate steps” to “mitigate lapses in security protocols even as the investigation continues. These steps include additional posts, technology enhancements, and response protocols.”
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, sent a letter Friday to Secret Service Acting Director William Callahan announcing that he had launched an investigation into the latest fence-jumping incident.