He is a threat assessment expert who has worked with high U.S. government security agencies for many years. He is an expert on how the Secret Service operates to protect our top leaders.
He is not a happy man.
“There has been a leakage of the best and most balanced agents from the Secret Service,” he told me. “We have been left with an overall force that has less experience and poorer judgment.
“The agents are way under headcount, as well. They have more work, more stress, more difficulty — and all operating under a cloud of scandal.”
That cloud of scandal includes agents allegedly cavorting with hookers in South America and falling down drunk in Holland. It also includes attacks on the White House itself, which have exposed bungles and misjudgments by Secret Service personnel.
“We can’t just keep doing this,” my source said. “And this is the tip of the iceberg.”
The White House has been called the people’s house, but that doesn’t mean people get to walk into it whenever they want.
Especially if they have a knife in their pocket and 800 rounds of ammunition, two hatchets and a machete in their car, as recently occurred.
As the director of the Secret Service testified Tuesday, 16 people have climbed over the White House fence in the past five years, including six this year.
So do you think they might have started locking the front doors at the White House — you know, the way most people in America lock their front doors at home?
In fact, the White House did not install automatic door locks until very recently — and only after a guy climbed over the fence, crossed 70 yards of lawn, pushed open the unlocked doors, knocked over an agent and then ran almost the entire length of the 80-foot East Room before being stopped.
Actually, I am surprised they didn’t find him behind the desk in the Oval Office, sipping a scotch, negotiating a treaty with Vladimir Putin.
We need boots on the ground. At the White House. And I don’t mean military boots. I mean the boots — OK, shoes — of Secret Service agents armed with new thinking and new supervisors.