- The Washington Times - Monday, March 13, 2017

A former Secret Service agent says that a successful fence-jumping at the White House Friday is proof the agency is ill-prepared for a multiple-man tactical assault.

Dan Bongino appeared on “Fox and Friends” Saturday to discuss the implications of a security breach at the White House’s south grounds. Mr. Bongino said that suspect Jonathan Tran, 26, exposed a flawed system. Similar breaches occurred in September 2014, November 2015, and April 2016.

“Let’s scrap this nonsense that this is how the system was supposed to work, that the system was supposed to allow a man with a backpack up to the south portico a hundred yards,” Mr. Bongino said, the Blaze reported. “If you think the Secret Service right now under the current security plan is prepared for a multiple-man tactical assault on the White House, you’re out of your mind.”

Fox News’ Leland Vittert pushed back, saying that a multi-man assault would have logically “brought a different response from the Secret Service,” which remains to be seen.

“Think about what you just said,” replied the former agent. “You said, ‘Well, it wasn’t a multi-man tactical assault on the White House.’ One guy made it all the way up to the south portico, and this is the second time we’re having this conversation in, what, three, four years? When did the last event happen? … They’re just not ready. They know the ramifications of what would happen if there were multiple people with heavy weapons jumping that fence.”

Mr. Bongino said double-fencing, angled fencing, more personnel and special weapons teams should be in place at the White House.

In a separate interview with CNN, former Secret Service agent Jonathan Wackrow said the agency needs to take a “hard look very quickly” at its security protocols.

“This is really troubling,” Mr. Wackrow told “CNN Newsroom” Saturday. “If someone came over the northwest fence of the Treasury complex, what that indicates is they didn’t go over just one fence, they went over multiple fences. This has the potential to be a catastrophic breach of the White House complex. This is really disturbing, just the amount of real estate that this intruder was able to gain or bypass on the complex.”

President Trump told reporters Saturday that Secret Service agents did a “fantastic job” apprehending “a troubled person.”

Mr. Tran was found with two cans of mace, a passport, a letter to Mr. Trump, a book written by the president, and a laptop computer. He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of entering or remaining in restricted grounds while using or carrying a dangerous weapon.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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