Fence Jumper Made It to the White House East Room
It gets worse. Contrary to initial reports, Omar Gonzales, the knife-wielding man who jumped the fence at the White House this month in an embarrassing security breach, actually made it all the way inside the East Room, much deeper than initially reported.
Gonzales was able to run through the front door of the White House, pass by the staircase leading to the Obama family's private quarters, and into the East Room before he was tackled by a counter-assault agent, the Washington Post reports. This new account, which cites three sources familiar with the incident, runs counter to the version first put forth by the Secret Service — that Gonzales had been stopped at the front door to the White House.
Alarm boxes that might have notified Secret Service agents of the breach were muted when Gonzales hopped the fence, the sources said, because a White House staffer had complained that they were too loud.
“If true, the fact that crash boxes were muted to avoid being ‘disruptive’ is not due to a lack of resources or an insufficient number of checkpoints or barriers,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz told the Post.
On Twitter, political commentator David Frum posted a diagram of just how close Gonzales had come to potentially running smack into the first family.
The specifics on the security lapse coincide with a new report that shows that President Obama has faced three times as many threats as his predecessors.