Trump Says ‘Troubled Person’ Scaled White House Fence Friday

  • Individual was carrying backpack; no hazardous materials found
  • President Trump at the presidential residence at the time

Donald Trump on Saturday thanked the Secret Service for apprehending “a troubled person” who scaled the fence of the White House overnight and was arrested in short order.

“Secret Service did a fantastic job last night,” the president told reporters at Trump National Golf Club in Potomac Falls, Virginia. “I appreciate it.”

The individual climbed the fence at 11:38 p.m. on Friday and was taken into custody by uniformed officers without incident, the Secret Service said in a statement on Saturday. The person was carrying a backpack that was not found to contain hazardous materials. Trump was at the White House at the time.

The Secret Service didn’t identify the person who was arrested in the statement, although an official with the agency said the individual didn’t have a criminal record and wasn’t on the radar of the protective service. A search of the north and south grounds of the presidential residence following the arrest didn’t find anything of additional concern, according to the statement.

CNN identified the fence-jumper as a 26-year-old male holding a California driver’s license.

A White House official said the president was made aware of the situation last night and appreciated the Secret Service’s efforts. 

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly -- who joined Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Saturday at what Trump described as a “mini Cabinet meeting” at his Virginia club -- was also briefed on the incident, the Secret Service said.

The Secret Service’s director, Joseph Clancy, retired from the agency on March 4, with William Callahan now leading it in an acting capacity. Clancy was appointed to the post following a 2014 incident in which an intruder was able to scale the fence of the White House and run inside the presidential mansion before being apprehended, as well as revelations that a private security guard with a gun and criminal history had been allowed to board an elevator with President Barack Obama during a visit to Atlanta.

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