By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Secret Service faced scathing criticism on Tuesday for the agency allowing an intruder with a knife to run into the White House and the Washington Post reported a separate security lapse of an armed contractor with a criminal record who rode an elevator with President Barack Obama. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson acknowledged the agency charged with protecting Obama had failed on Sept. 19 when it allowed a man to jump the fence at the home of the president, burst through the front door and run about 130 feet (40 meters) into the East Room, which is used for events and receptions. "This is unacceptable and I take full responsibility," Pierson told a U.S. House of Representatives committee. "We are all outraged within the Secret Service at how this incident came to pass. It is self evident mistakes were made," she said, promising lawmakers that it would never happen again. As a first step, Pierson said the front door of the White House now has an automated lock when there is a security breach. It did not have one at the time of the intrusion. Any disciplinary actions, however, would be based on an internal probe by the agency, Pierson said. The incident is the latest black mark for the Secret Service, which has suffered a series of scandals including a lone gunman firing shots at the White House in 2011, a prostitution scandal involving agents in Colombia in 2012 and a night of drinking in March that led to three agents being sent home from a presidential trip to Amsterdam. Factbox The Washington Post reported after Tuesday's hearing that according to three people familiar with a separate security lapse in Atlanta on Sept. 16, a contractor with a gun and who had a criminal record of three convictions for assault and battery, was allowed on an elevator with Obama. House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, a Republican, said an internal probe was insufficient to rebuild trust in the agency. U.S. Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, said he would introduce legislation to create an independent commission to conduct a top-to-bottom review of the agency. In a hearing of more than three hours, lawmakers criticized Pierson's initial post-incident statement, which made it appear intruder Omar Gonzalez was apprehended just inside the door. But she acknowledged on Tuesday that Gonzalez, an Iraq war veteran, struggled with an officer inside the door and crossed through a large foyer into a hallway and most of the way through the 80-foot (24-meter) East Room. Shortly before the intrusion, Obama and his family had left for the weekend. 'HOW ON EARTH DID THIS HAPPEN?' Gonzalez will return on Wednesday to federal court, where he has been charged with unlawful entry while carrying a weapon. A federal grand jury indicted him on Tuesday on that federal offense, along with District of Columbia charges of carrying a dangerous weapon outside a home or business and unlawful possession of ammunition. "The White House is supposed to be one of America's most secure facilities," Issa said. "How on earth did this happen?" Another Republican, U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, pressed Pierson on when officers can use lethal force against intruders in a modern era of suicide bombers. She said such decisions were up to officers, but they first need to determine that they or others are in imminent danger. Chaffetz told Pierson: "I want it to be crystal clear. You make a run and a dash at the White House, we’re gonna take you down. I want overwhelming force. Do you disagree with me?" Pierson replied, "I do want officers and agents to execute appropriate force for anyone intending to challenge and breach the White House." White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama had confidence in Pierson and said she did not offer her resignation. Pierson said the Secret Service had apprehended 16 fence jumpers in the last five years, including six this year. On Sept. 11, someone was caught seconds after scaling the fence. Lawmakers questioned why Gonzalez had escaped more scrutiny. In July, he was arrested in Virginia for reckless driving, eluding police and possessing a sawed-off shotgun. In August, he was stopped, but not arrested, while walking along the south fence of the White House with a hatchet in his waistband. Pierson said the agency was down about 550 employees from its optimal level, and there had been staff reductions following automatic spending cuts and "other fiscal constraints." Obama appointed Pierson, 55, a 30-year Secret Service veteran, in March 2013. The first female director in the agency's 148-history, she was given the mission of cleaning up the agency's culture. (Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Tom Brown and Grant McCool)
"When you're attacking FBI agents because you're under criminal investigation, you're losing," Huckabee Sanders wrote in Nov. 2016
Volodymyr Zhukovskyy. 26. faced multiple counts of negligent homicide and manslaughter for the crash on Route 2 in Randolph, New Hampshire on June 21, 2019.
- BuzzFeed News
"They even broke into my safe!"View Entire Post ›
Lindsey Graham says 'nobody's above the law' after FBI searched Trump's Mar-a-Lago club but adds that he's 'suspicious' of the investigation
Unlike Graham, a slew of Republican lawmakers swiftly came to Trump's defense and attacked the Department of Justice.
- The Hill
Former White House communications director Alyssa Farah Griffin on Tuesday said the FBI’s raid on former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property could be the key to him winning the 2024 presidential election. Griffin, in an appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” said she hoped the investigation is about more than Trump not complying with certain archiving laws…
The Fox News host unloaded a hyperbolic rant about the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago.
CNN's Pamela Brown quizzed Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) on his past outrage over Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information.
- Rolling Stone
Conservatives are doing what they do best in the wake of the FBI searching Donald Trump's Palm Beach estate: playing the victim
- National Review
Representative Scott Perry, an ally of former president Donald Trump, said Tuesday that the FBI confiscated his personal phone one day after federal agents searched Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.
- The Daily Beast
Frederick M. Brown/Daily Mail.com via APA traveling Texas nurse is facing multiple murder charges after running a red light and crashing into traffic while allegedly driving 90 mph in Windsor Hills, California.Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced on Monday that Nicole Linton has been charged with six counts of murder and five counts of gross vehicular manslaughter for the multi-car crash, which left six people dead. Linton faces a 90-year prison sentence if convicted.Poli
A memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland that surfaced in July had some thinking the DOJ would not act. But the raid came just under deadline.
- LA Times
Prosecutors say they are reviewing previous crashes linked to woman charged with six counts of murder and five counts of vehicular manslaughter.
Lawyers received instructions to secure Trump's document room months before the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago: report
After federal investigators met with Trump's attorneys, aides added a padlock to the room where documents were stored.
- Country Living
Yesterday, Meghan Markle announced she guest-edited the September issue of British Vogue. She had specific instructions for the cover shoot—ones that say a lot about how she wants to showcase beauty.
Prince Harry's latest virtual appearance featured a rare (albeit tiny) glimpse of the California home he shares with Meghan...
- In The Know by Yahoo
Addison Rae has faced so much backlash for the ad, that she deleted it off of her Instagram.
Many people wondered how Pence can still defend Trump, whose supporters called for the vice president to be hanged during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
On Aug. 8, the FBI executed a search warrant for Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, and needless to say, the former president was anything but pleased.
Alex Jones' wife said she is 'unaware' and 'upset' her husband sent a nude photo of her to Roger Stone
The nude photo was included in a trove of Alex Jones' texts accidentally sent to lawyers for Sandy Hook parents, the attorney said.
- Associated Press
A jury on Tuesday acquitted a commercial truck driver of causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in a horrific head-on collision in northern New Hampshire that exposed fatal flaws in the processing of license revocations across states. Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 26, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, was found innocent on seven counts of manslaughter, seven counts of negligent homicide and one count of reckless conduct in connection with the June 21, 2019, crash in Randolph. Jurors deliberated for less than three hours after a two-week trial during which prosecutors argued that Zhukovskyy — who had taken heroin, fentanyl and cocaine earlier on the day of the crash — repeatedly swerved back and forth before the collision and told police he caused it.