Tags: America's Forum | Peter King | Secret Service | White House security

Peter King: White House Breach 'Something You See in a Bad Movie'

By    |   Tuesday, 30 September 2014 11:29 AM

U.S. Rep Peter King had high praise for the Secret Service during his appearance on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Tuesday. But the New York Republican said the security breach at the White House on Sept. 19 was "something you see in a bad movie."

"Overall, what I see they do with world leaders and when the president does come into New York and I see them personally, the effort I see is very professional, very coordinated and I haven't seen any screw ups," King told host JD Hayworth.

"But one we saw at the White House is something you see in a bad movie. Everything that could've gone wrong, went wrong including the cover-up."

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The head of the Secret Service took responsibility Tuesday for security lapses at the White House, saying a recent intrusion by a knife-wielding man was "unacceptable" and would not occur again.

"This is unacceptable. I take full responsibility and it will never happen again," Secret Service director Julia Pierson told US lawmakers angered by a series of security failures at the presidential mansion.

Pierson, who was sworn in to the elite agency's top job in March 2013 after decades as a Secret Service officer, said a thorough investigation had been launched into how a US Army veteran carrying a knife could jump the fence, run across the lawn, dash through the front doors of the White House and run into the ceremonial East Room before being apprehended.

King said he saw the Secret Service in action last week when President Obama spoke at the United Nations in New York City. He described their work as "extremely impressive" coordinating with local law enforcement to manage security for 140 world leaders.

"But there were some glaring mistakes like the one at the White House," he said on "America's Forum."

"It's completely unacceptable It's possible there are more systematic failures and that's why an investigation is important," he said.

In the hearing on Tuesday Pierson said the Secret Service had its "share of challenges" in recent years, referring to a string of headline-grabbing security scandals that has put the service under intense scrutiny.

"I intend over the coming months to redouble my efforts, not only in response to this incident, but in general to bring the Secret Service to a level of performance that lives up to the vital mission we perform, the important individuals we protect, and the American people we serve," she told the House Government Oversight Committee.

Pierson got an earful from committee chairman Darrell Issa, who blasted the Secret Service for its "history of misbehavior and security failures."

He said it was "amazing and unacceptable" that an intruder made it into the White House.

"Inexplicably, Omar Gonzalez breached at least 'five rings' of security on September 19th," Issa told Pierson.

"The fact is, the system broke down on September 19 as it did when the Salahis crashed a state dinner in November 2009, or when Oscar Ortega-Hernandez successfully shot at the White House on November 2011," Issa said.

The 2011 incident was only made public last weekend in an explosive Washington Post report that revealed that it took the Secret Service five days to realize a man had fired shots at the White House while one of President Barack Obama's daughters was inside.

The committee's top Democrat, Elijah Cummings, expressed outrage at the latest breach.

"I hate to even imagine what could have happened if Gonzalez had been carrying a gun instead of a knife when he burst inside the White House," Cummings said.

Information from AFP was used in this report.

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U.S. Rep Peter King had high praise for the Secret Service during his appearance on America's Forum on Newsmax TV on Tuesday. But the New York Republican said the security breach at the White House on Sept. 19 was something you see in a bad movie.
Peter King, Secret Service, White House security
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 11:29 AM
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