President Trump no longer safe in White House, Were alarms Muted or Ignored?

Malia Zimmerman,

The president is no longer safe on the White House grounds, according to former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino, who once guarded presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Bongino made the stunning assessment in an interview Friday with Fox News. It followed an incident last Friday night when a man jumped the White House fence and may have roamed the property for as long as 15 minutes before he was stopped by the Secret Service.

Jonathan Tran, who carried two cans of mace, set off multiple alarms, Bongino said, and was even spotted by Secret Service agents, but was still able to come within “close proximity” of the White House and even reportedly “jiggled the door” to the executive mansion.

“The intruder set off multiple alarms, alarms that clearly showed someone breached the property, and he was seen by agents who didn’t think anything of it. This is a big story,” Bongino told Fox News.

“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.”

Should a group of terrorists decide to storm the White House, the Secret Service would not be able to protect Trump, Bongino predicted.

“The Secret Service cannot even keep one person off the grounds – what will they do if 40 terrorists charge the White House?” he asked. “And believe me the terrorists are already thinking about that.”

trumpnotsafe_small President Trump no longer safe in White House, Were alarms Muted or Ignored? Trump

According to the Secret Service, Tran was charged with entering a restricted building and carrying a dangerous weapon.

Trump, who was on the property, has praised the Secret Service for doing a “fantastic job” and said the suspect was “troubled.”

But Bongino said the current Secret Service management “sucks.”

“The Secret Service is stuck in their ways and don’t want to redo and upgrade the White House security plan. President Trump won’t be safe there until they do,” Bongino said.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, also blasted the latest incident and said “this keeps happening.” Chaffetz’s panel oversees the Secret Service.

He added, “Our information is incomplete at best.”

In a letter to acting Secret Service Director Bill Callahan, Chaffetz said Tran “may have attempted entry into the building. If true, these allegations raise questions about whether the agency’s security protocols are adequate.”

Chaffetz suggested there may have been alarms that were ignored by the Secret Service.

Chaffetz wants a briefing by the end of next week. He also is asking for all video from the White House grounds that night as well as logs from the Joint Operations Center and information about “alarms” at the White House.

The episode recalled another in September 2014, when Omar Gonzales penetrated the White House grounds and actually made it inside. Then Secret Service Director Julia Pierson afterward conceded “mistakes were made.” But the Secret Service was found to have publicly lied about how far Gonzales made it into the White House.

It cost Pierson her job.

They later found the White House alarms had been muted in the Gonzales incident.

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  • DrArtaud

    Familiarity breeds contempt. I worked in the mill, to the electricians Red means energized (Breaker Closed) and Green means deenergized (Breaker Open). We had valves, with them Red means the valve is Open, Yellow or Green means the valve is closed. To the operators, they preferred the convention we’re all accustomed to while driving. Occasionally you’d see a control panel where they reversed the indicator lights, so that Red meant the motor was stopped and Green meant it was running, but that was problematic in electricians troubleshooting because they might be unaware of the incorrect indication.

    The system was fraught with potential disasters and misunderstandings. If you viewed Red as Danger, the logic made sense, an open valve, running motor, or energized circuit is dangerous. But people think in different ways.

    The following video is about a man with engineering and psychological backgrounds. He designs things to be intuitively understood. Years ago I read his book “The Psychology of Everyday Things”. How many of us have run into a door with a horizontal bar cluing push, but the door was labeled pull?

    Video: User Centered Design Don Norman

    I’m not suggesting that failures of the Secret Service can so easily be explained away, but a series of motion and proximity detectors needs installed and interfaced with an intuitively understood and adequately indicating computer alarm system, these can include specific text messages sent to the Secret Service members on detail so they can instantly be aware of potential problems. In addition, vibration, capacitance, and electrostatic detection on the fencing, if anyone touches the fencing an alarm should sound, and no one during periods of minimal activity on the White House sidewalks should be permitted to touch the fencing. I’d include “sap” systems that aren’t actively involved in protection but can be used to alarm the Secret Service if someone tries to defeat.

    Manpower, they need to realize these are very unstable times and provisions to guard the president and family should be paramount and commensurate with possible threats.

    Lie detectors, lie detectors, and more lie detectors. In case something is afoot with the agents themselves, there is a priority that this is discovered. I remember a guy I went to Tech School with. He interviewed with the NSA. He had to take a lie detector test and it showed he was lying about never stealing from his employer. The interviewer asked for the details of his theft. He worked for a catering service that the owner told them they had to bring back all alcohol bottles with any content and mix them with other identical content to try and reconstruct full bottles from near empty ones. But his immediate supervisor told them to take bottles mostly empty home. The interviewer told him to exclude his catering experience, had he otherwise stolen from his employers. He replied no and passed the 2nd time. Unrelated, we lost a woman from the mill that got a job with the CIA. These jobs are out there but few of us think about them.