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Secret Service director says White House fence jumper incident was 'simply inexcusable


Joseph Clancy, acting director of the United States Secret Service, admitted Wednesday that his agency has no excuse for allowing a man to jump the White House fence and make it all the way into the White House.

"The fence jumping incident on September 19, 2014, was simply inexcusable," Clancy said in prepared testimony for a House Judiciary Committee hearing schedule for 10 a.m.

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 10.47.14 AM Acting Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy acknowledged Wednesday that there are no excuses for how a fence-jumper was able to invade the White House earlier this year.
Image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

"A convergence of failures allowed an individual to gain access to the White House before he was stopped," he said. Clancy indicated he's hopeful the Secret Service has taken the steps necessary to prevent a similar incident.

"As a result of these failures, immediate enhancements were made to the White House complex security plan that very night," he said. "A review of the incident was conducted by DHS and additional enhancements are being made under my direction."

"While my focus is on moving forward and addressing future challenges, I want to assure you and the public that the past incidents are not treated lightly and do not come without positive change," he added.

Clancy admitted that incident was one of several in which the Secret Service has "fallen short" of its goals. The agency has been criticized for several other incidents, including failing to investigate shots fired at the White House, and the hiring of a prostitute in Colombia.

He said those incidents are having an impact on employee morale at the Secret Service.

"Instead of remaining the organization that prides itself on operating silently and courageously behind the scenes, we are now in the public spotlight," he said. "This has had detrimental effects on workforce morale and operational security, both with potentially dire consequences."

On the White House shooting in 2011, Clancy said not all public reports have been accurate. "However, the delay in identifying evidence of bullet impacts on the structure of the White House is unacceptable," he said.

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