Tags: obama | armed | man | elevator

Obama, Armed Man Run-in: Former Felon Rode Elevator With President

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 12:52 PM

President Barack Obama rode in an elevator with an armed man with a criminal background during a trip to Atlanta last month, a source close to the incident revealed this week in the latest security gaffe involving the president.

Ironically, the revelation of the Sept. 16 blunder came shortly after Secret Service director Julia Pierson faced withering criticism and harsh questions Tuesday about two security breaches at the White House — one in 2011 and one less than two weeks ago. Pierson was questioned in a session in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, The Washington Post reported.

In the Sept. 16 incident, which happened during Obama's visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the president rode an elevator with an armed security contractor, according to ABC News.

The contractor — who, unbeknownst to Secret Service officials, had a criminal record including prior convictions for assault and battery — was flagged by agents after he began taking pictures and acting in a way they believed was unprofessional. Agents discovered the contractor's criminal past when they ran a background check only after his elevator ride with the president, a source told ABC News.

The Post reported that Secret Service agents also did not know the contractor was armed until a supervisor fired him and he agreed to turn over his weapon.

The incident sparked outrage from U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who heads a House subcommittee that oversees the Secret Service.

"You have a convicted felon within arm's reach of the president, and they never did a background check," Chaffetz told The Post. "Words aren't strong enough for the outrage I feel for the safety of the president and his family. His life was in danger. This country would be a different world today if he had pulled out his gun."

Just three days after the elevator scare, 42-year-old Omar Gonzalez jumped a fence at the White House and made it all the way inside the executive mansion before he was subdued. Officials later revealed he was carrying a knife.

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President Barack Obama rode in an elevator with an armed man with a criminal background during a trip to Atlanta last month, a source close to the incident revealed this week in the latest security gaffe involving the president.
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2014-52-01
Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 12:52 PM
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