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White House Fence Jumper Got Much Farther Than We Thought

A new report from The Washington Post indicates White House fence jumper Omar Gonzales made it far inside the White House before being caught.
Posted at 10:56 PM, Sep 29, 2014

We already knew that White House fence jumper Omar Gonzales committed an unprecedented breach of White House security by making it inside the building. What we didn't know was just how far Gonzales went before being apprehended by the Secret Service.

A new report from The Washington Post says Gonzales forced his way through the North portico doors, barreled past one agent and dashed through the building's East Room before being tackled by another agent outside the door to the Green Room. He had a knife with him at the time.

The Post notes Gonzales made it inside the North Portico doors before guards could properly react, thanks in part to a disabled alarm system which had apparently been muted over "[concerns] the boxes were frequently malfunctioning and unnecessarily sounding off." 

None of this information was presented in the Secret Service's initial response to the break-in, which simply said Gonzales was "physically apprehended after entering the White House North Portico doors." The agency's spokesman declined to comment on the Post's story, citing an ongoing investigation.

Gonzales, an Iraq War veteran with a mental health condition, is currently facing unlawful entry charges, and could get 10 years in prison if convicted. 

This new report comes on the heels of another Washington Post story revealing deep flaws in the Secret Service's response to a 2011 incident where shots were fired at The White House. The Secret Service didn't investigate the incident until four days after it occurred. (Video via MSNBC)

Secret Service director Julia Pierson is likely to face stern questions over these incidents and other security breaches when she testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a member of that committee who's been closely involved in the investigation of these incidents, told CNN the agency's leadership is suspect in the wake of these recent security lapses.

"I have some serious questions. Great men and women, but I question their training, I question their protocol, I question the leadership."

The Secret Service has announced several new security measures in the wake of Gonzales' intrusion, including building a new barricade around the White House and locking the doors more consistently.

This video contains images from Getty Images and the Library of Congress.