White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that the Secret Service wasn't trying to cover anything up in the wake of an intruder penetrating deep into the White House.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest speaks during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. Earnest touched on various topics including the White House fence jumper. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The Secret Service initially said Omar Gonzalez was apprehended after making it inside the North Portico door earlier this month, implying he didn't get far into the building. On Monday, however, the Washington Post reported that he was only tackled after he got to the East Room, much deeper into the mansion.
Earnest, speaking shortly after a contentious hearing on the matter on Capitol Hill, said the news report came from congressional sources; if the Secret Service were trying to hide the fact that the intruder made it to the East Room, the agency would not have provided that information to Congress.
“If they were trying to keep it a secret, they wouldn't have provided it to Congress, which is exactly what they did, both in private conversations with members of the committee but also in open public testimony,” Earnest said.
Earnest said President Barack Obama “absolutely” still has confidence in Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, whom he said has not offered her resignation to the president.
“The director of the Secret Service testified voluntarily under oath before members of Congress on live national television and was forthright about what she currently understood about what had transpired here at the White House 10 days or so ago,” Earnest said.