Less than two months after taking office, President Trump had already witnessed some of the dysfunction at the Secret Service. On March 10th, a man was able to jump the fence of the White House. From there, he wandered around for over 15 minutes before he was finally apprehended. To make matters worse, the man was able to pass right by the first lady’s garden and approach just inches from the bedroom of the president’s residence. Even more troublesome, the president was in the residence at the time of the incident.
The ordeal was yet another black eye for an agency that has seen its fair share of controversy in recent years. However, officials are reporting that at least two agents will now be held accountable for the serious breach.
Two Secret Service officers have been fired over their handling of a March 10 incident in which a White House fence jumper made it just steps from a main door to the executive mansion, two law enforcement officials told CNN on Thursday.
The Uniformed Division officers, both with less than a year on the job, were assigned to guard posts located at the Treasury Building and at an entrance to East Executive Avenue, the source said.
Since the agents were unable to locate the man, the White House was forced to go on security lock down:
At the time, Trump was alerted of the intrusion and the White House was placed under the security condition “Orange” — one of the Secret Service’s highest levels of security.
The move comes as officials desperately try to improve accountability within their ranks. The security breach was just the latest in a string of high profile gaffes by an agency charged with protecting America’s leaders. Following the incident, the Secret Service did a full review of security procedures. Ultimately, that review led to the firing of two agents.
Whether more agents are yet to be held responsible remains to be seen, and the agency has not responded to requests for comment from CNN. However, the firings make clear the Secret Service is taking a new approach to changing its public image.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]