Breaking News Emails
The man who jumped over the White House fence and raced across the front lawn made it farther inside the building than was previously disclosed, barreling past one officer and making it inside the building’s first floor, according to a report in the Washington Post published Monday. A U.S. official confirmed the details of the report to NBC News.
Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, overpowered an officer guarding the front door on Sept. 19, and made it all the way to the East Room of the White House before he was arrested, according to the report. Officials had previously said that Gonzalez only made it just inside the North Portico doors before he was tackled.
The security breach has prompted questions about how the Secret Service allowed Gonzalez, who was carrying a knife and had a hatchet and ammunition in his car, to make it as far inside the building as he did.
The report said an alarm box near the entrance had been muted at the request of White House building staff, and that the guard at the entrance wasn’t notified that an intruder was on the grounds as soon as she could have been. Guards are instructed to lock the doors whenever an intruder gets on the grounds, the report said.
The Secret Service is reviewing what went wrong, but has said "the location of Gonzalez's arrest is not acceptable." The White House said in a statement after the breach that “the President has full confidence in the Secret Service and is grateful to the men and women who day in and day out protect himself, his family and the White House.”