The White House suffered its first major security incident of President Donald Trump’s tenure in office Friday night, and it has a former Secret Service agent desperately sounding the alarm over the dire implications of what happened, as well as what needs to happen immediately to rectify the situation.
According to CNN, 26-year-old Californian Jonathan Tran was arrested after jumping the fence surrounding the White House and nearly making it inside the South Lawn entrance to the presidential residence. He carried with him two cans of mace and a backpack containing one of Trump’s books and a letter he had written to the president, which he intended to deliver by hand.
After taking the man into custody, the Secret Service conducted a thorough sweep of the area and officially stated, “Nothing of concern to security operations was found.”
But in a phone interview with Fox News Saturday, former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino took great exception to not only the security incident at the White House, but also the seemingly cavalier manner in which the agency had downplayed the significance of the event.
“So first, let’s scrap this nonsense that this is how the system was supposed to work. It defies credulity to believe that the system was supposed to allow a man with a backpack up to the South Portico a hundred yards — maybe just a tad bit more from the president of the United States. That’s an absurd statement,” a fired-up Bongino began.
“And I’ll tell ya — I love the Secret Service, I love the men and women there, the rank-and-file agents are the best people I’ve ever met — but the management is an absolute disaster,” he continued. “To put out a statement like that is outrageous.”
“The president, in my humble opinion, is just not safe at the White House anymore because they’re not serious about the security plan,” Bongino added. “They’re serious about how the White House looks and uniform division, but they’re just not serious about the security plan at the White House anymore.”
Asked what needed to be done to ensure further incidents don’t occur, Bongino said agents “know what has to be done” but are unable to do those things due to a “choke point” of various special interests that would prefer to maintain the status quo instead of ramping up security measures, according to Lifezette.
“You can put double fencing. You can angle the fencing outward so it’s nearly impossible to scale. You can put more personnel and special weapons on the South Lawn,” the former agent explained. “But the choke point is, there are interests in the White House, staff interests — maybe not from this administration, but certainly from prior administrations — that have stopped that because, ‘Oh, it doesn’t look good. You don’t want to make it look like an armed camp.’ Which is ridiculous.”
Citing the tense times we are living in with the ever-present threat of terrorism, Bongino stated, “If you think the Secret Service right now under the current security plan is prepared for a multiple-man tactical assault on the White House, you’re out of your mind.”
Though Bongino received some pushback from anchor Leland Vittert about the seriousness of the charges he had made, he would not be swayed from his blunt assessment of the security situation at the White House.
“This is the soberest analysis you’re gonna get, I was there. There are people who know that they are not prepared,” Bongino declared. “How much more of a sobering analysis can you get? They’re just not ready. And they’re not serious about it because they know the ramifications of what would happen if there were multiple people with heavy weapons jumping that fence. They know it. That means they’re not being serious about it.”
You can watch his interview right here:
That said, there is something to the notion that appearances must be maintained, and nobody wants the leader of the free world to essentially have to live inside of an obviously fortified and heavily armed bunker. Hopefully there will be some sort of acceptable solution that will heighten security measures while maintaining the historical look and relatively open access to “the people’s house.”
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