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The Secret Service is overstretched and needs a “culture change” from outside leadership, according to an independent review of the agency that found profound problems in the organization tasked with protecting the president and his family.

The recommendations, released Thursday, range from suggestions as practical as raising the 7 ½ foot fence around the White House to more training to hiring a new director from outside the Secret Service.

“The need to change, reinvigorate, and question long-held assumptions - from within the agency itself - is too critical right now for the next director to be an insider,” according to an executive summary of the report.

The report, much of which is classified, comes after a series of high-profile security breaches at the White House. The most severe occurred in September when a man jumped the fence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and made it deep inside the mansion.

“This is not something, based on my judgment and the recommendations I've seen, that can change overnight,” Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson, who commissioned the report, said Thursday on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports.

The report also notes the agency is "without peer" and has "an extraordinary track record of success."

“I know the president himself has the highest confidence in the level of protection he and the First Family receive from the Secret Service,” Johnson added.


— Andrew Rafferty