Former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino doubled down on his claim that President Donald Trump “is not safe in the White House” after new details surfaced Friday concerning the March 10 White House breach and reports indicated another intruder attempted to breach the White House perimeter Saturday.
The president was on the premises when Jonathan Tran scaled the White House Fence carrying two cans of mace on March 10.
“The Secret Service cannot even keep one person off the grounds — what will they do if 40 terrorists charge the White House?”
“Nothing of concern to security operations was found,” the Secret Service said in a statement that also admitted Tran had been on White House grounds for over 16 minutes before being apprehended.
“Folks, that’s just unforgivable. I mean, unforgivable,” Bongino said in a video statement released on his Facebook page Friday, adding that Tran “scaled multiple fences, walked probably close to 200 hundred yards, was probably seen on no less than 50 cameras, tripped multiple alarms.”
“This is all unforgivable stuff — unforgivable. This is just — if the Secret Service doesn’t clean house at the management level after this, I don’t know — I mean, what are you waiting to happen?” Bongino added. “I mean, I’m really hoping and praying right now that everything I just told you about the security plan at the White House that’s just not sufficient — I’m hoping all of this is laughed at in years because they go and they fix the security plan.”
According to a statement from the Secret Service Friday, Tran breached the perimeter fence near the Treasure complex near East Executive Avenue at 11:21:38 p.m.
“The individual proceeded within the secure perimeter and scaled an 8 foot vehicle gate. The individual then proceeded to climb over a 3 1⁄2 foot fence near the SE corner of the East Wing of the White House grounds,” the statement read. “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.”
After nearly 17 minutes had passed, Tran finally was apprehended. Although the Secret Service said no explosive materials were found in his backpack, many agents expressed their anger and frustration over long the intrusion lasted and how deep Tran was allowed to travel into White House grounds.
“The men and women of the Secret Service are extremely disappointed and angry in how the events of March 10th transpired,” the agency’s statement added. “Immediate steps have been taken to mitigate lapses in security protocols even as the investigation continues. These steps include additional posts, technology enhancements, and response protocols.”
But Bongino insisted that the Secret Service’s “unforgivable” behavior on this occasion represents a troubling lack of competency in protecting the president of the United States.
“I went on Fox last week and told you the truth, that the president is not safe in the White House,” Bongino said. “The White House security plan is crap. The management is terrible at Secret Service.”
Although Bongino noted that the “rank and file men and women” of the Secret Service “know exactly what needs to be down” to carry out their jobs effectively, he insisted that they are being prevented from doing so.
“But they’re being stopped by a sclerotic bunch of dinosaur managers who just can’t get out of the way,” Bongino said. “They literally cannot get out of their own way. I mean, they’re screwing this whole thing up.”
The Secret Service’s handling of the intrusion was so troubling to House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) that he sent a letter Friday to Secret Service Acting Director William Callahan noting that he had called for an investigation into the incident, which he complained “keeps happening.”
“Our information is incomplete at best,” Chaffetz wrote, adding that Tran “may have attempted entry into the building. If true, these allegations raise questions about whether the agency’s security protocols are adequate.”
Bongino said current security protocols are nowhere near being remotely “adequate.”
“The Secret Service cannot even keep one person off the grounds — what will they do if 40 terrorists charge the White House?” Bongino said Friday on Fox News. “And believe me the terrorists are already thinking about that.”