Former U.S. Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino insisted that President Donald Trump “is not safe at the White House anymore” because the Secret Service is “not serious about the security plan” during an interview Saturday on Fox News.
Bongino blasted the leadership of the Secret Service for failing to prevent a man with a backpack from breaching the White House grounds near the South Portico entrance Friday evening while the president was inside. Although the agents succeeded in stopping the intruder from breaching the mansion itself and his backpack did not contain explosive material, Bongino said the breach betrays a lack of seriousness about threats.
“And they’re not serious about it because they know the ramifications of what would happen if there were multiple people with heavy weapons jumping that fence. They know it. That means they’re not being serious about it.”
“The president, in my humble opinion, is just not safe at the White House anymore because they’re not serious about the security plan,” Bongino said. “They’re serious about how the White House looks and uniform division, but they’re just not serious about the security plan at the White House anymore.”
Following the security breach, CNN obtained a statement from the Secret Service in which the agency said “nothing of concern to security operations was found.” Bongino took issue with that claim.
“So first, 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 — maybe just a tad bit more from the president of the United States. That’s an absurd statement,” Bongino said. “And I’ll tell ya — I love the Secret Service, I love the men and women there, the rank-and-file agents are the best people I’ve ever met — but the management is an absolute disaster. To put out a statement like that is outrageous.”
The former Secret Service agent insisted the problem exists because the agency “knows what has to be done” but refuses to do it for a variety of reasons.
“You can put double fencing. You can angle the fencing outward so it’s nearly impossible to scale. You can put more personnel and special weapons on the South Lawn,” Bongino suggested. “But the show point is, there are interests in the White House, staff interests — maybe not from this administration, but certainly from prior administrations — that have stopped that because, ‘Oh, it doesn’t look good. You don’t want to make it look like an armed camp.’ Which is ridiculous.”
“There are other interests that say, ‘Well, the history of the White House — we don’t want to disturb the look of it,'” Bongino continued, adding that this is “a serious time” filled with potential terror threats. “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.”
Bongino said he was especially frustrated because he knows how “capable” the “rank-and-file men and women” of the agency are and would be if they were allowed to do their jobs more effectively.
“This is the soberest analysis you’re gonna get … There are people who know that they are not prepared,” Bongino said. “How much more of a sobering analysis can you get? They’re just not ready. And they’re not serious about it because they know the ramifications of what would happen if there were multiple people with heavy weapons jumping that fence. They know it. That means they’re not being serious about it.”