*To say that Michelle Obama was upset over the actions of the Secret Service is an understatement.
(Scroll down to watch CBS News Report)
An in-depth investigation by the Washington Post reveals the first lady was furious years ago with the organization over its response to a 2011 incident involving shots from a gunman that hit the White House several times.
According to the Post, it took the Secret Service four days to realize the shots had hit the White House on Nov. 11, 2011 after initially stating the shots were the result of an unrelated gang shooting. Mrs. Obama was taking a nap after returning from Hawaii when a White House housekeeper told an assistant White House usher about a broken window and chunk of concrete on the floor of the rooms. The usher relayed the information to the Secret Service soon after getting the news from the housekeeper.
Despite then-White House chief of staff William Daley’s intent to tell President Barack Obama so he could inform Mrs. Obama, the assistant usher Reginald Dickson got to the first lady beforehand because he believed she already knew, the Post reports, adding that Mrs. Obama was as “aghast – and then quickly furious” that she and the president were not informed sooner. Especially because she was on a flight back from Hawaii with then-Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan.
The Post goes on to state that Sullivan already knew that the shooter, Oscar R. Ortega-Hernandez, seemed to be obsessed with the president – although he was not yet connected with the shooting at the White House.
Needless to say that Mr. Obama was not happy when he found out about everything.
“When the president came back . . . then the s— really hit the fan,” one former aide told the Post.
Mrs. Obama’s anger was still going strong, according to sources, which noted that Sullivan was called for a meeting at the White House, where he found out first hand how angry she was. In an interview with the Post, Sullivan denied what happened, but wouldn’t go into further detail describing the meeting.
The 2011 shooting serves as one of many incidents that have cast doubt on the Secret Service. Within the past few years, the organization, which is tasked with protecting the president and first family, has repeatedly fallen short of their primary objective. On Tuesday, Secret Service director Julia Pierson faced lawmakers who criticized her and the agency’s performance during a combative hearing on the security breaches.
One of the incidents discussed was probably a recent security breach involving an armed security contractor
According to the Post, the contractor, who had a gun, was allowed on an elevator with President Obama during a Sept. 16 trip to Atlanta. Three people familiar with the incident told the paper that that Secret Service protocols were violated during the incident.
The Post mentions the incident took place as Mr. Obama discussed the U.S.’ response to the Ebola crisis during an appearance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those familiar with the incident noted that the contractor did not comply when Secret Service agents asked him to stop using a phone camera to videotape the president in the elevator. Upon questioning him and checking a database, agents discovered the contractor’s criminal history, which included three prior convictions for assault and battery
Once he learned of the agents’ concern a supervisor from the private security firm where the contractor work fired the contractor on the spot. The contractor later agreed to turn over his gun, which came as a surprise to the agents since they didn’t’ realize he was armed during his encounter with the president.
To see a CBS News report on the situation, check out the video below: