Tags: Secret service | Rep. Jason Chaffetz

Rep. Chaffetz: Will Question Secret Service Director on Leadership, Protocol, Training

By    |   Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 11:56 AM

Concerns about leadership, protocol, and training are at the top of the list of questions for Secret Service Director Julia Pierson when she appears on Capitol Hill Tuesday to explain how White House security was breached when an armed man entered the building, Rep. Jason Chaffetz told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Wielding a knife, Iraq War veteran Omar Gonzalez jumped the fence at the White House earlier this month, and initial reports stated Secret Service agents stopped him inside the front door. According to news reports on Monday, Gonzales made it further into the White House, and was not stopped until he reached deep inside the East Room.

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"How come the protocol is such that everything failed?" the Utah Republican asked Tuesday. "I worry about leadership. I worry about protocol. And, I worry about training."

Pierson will testify Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to answer questions about the breach. Chaffetz said he wondered if the fact the Secret Service was moved to the Department of Homeland Security following 9/11 had made the agency more "political."

"When they moved over to Homeland Security, and suddenly that director became a political appointee with Senate confirmation, I worry that it became much more of a political office, as opposed to the type of office that it was under the Department of Treasury," he said.

Chaffetz, who sits on the House Oversight Committee, was also concerned about a Secret Service press release about the incident that described agents as using "tremendous restraint" in apprehending Gonzalez.

"Why did the Secret Service issue a statement saying that the officers showed, and to use their words, 'tremendous restraint.' Really? Tremendous restraint?" he said. "That's not acceptable."

A "projection of weakness" could "invite more attacks," Chaffetz warned, adding that the leadership at the Secret Service was "sending all the wrong signals when they are patting them on the back for tremendous restraint."

Chaffetz said he was also concerned that an alarm inside the front door had been muted because "it made too much noise." He said with all the layers of redundancy in the security at the White House, "nothing went right."

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Concerns about leadership, protocol, and training are at the top of the list of questions for Secret Service Director Julia Pierson when she appears on Capitol Hill Tuesday to explain how White House security was breached when an armed man entered the building, Rep. Jason...
Secret service, Rep. Jason Chaffetz
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2014-56-30
Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 11:56 AM
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