On a day when the Secret Service is being scrutinized for allowing a man with a knife to breach White House security, The Washington Post has reported that the agency allowed an armed man with a criminal record to ride in an elevator with President Barack Obama when he was in Atlanta on Sept. 16.
According to the newspaper, the security contractor did not comply when Secret Service agents asked him to stop filming the president with his cell phone. Agents then performed a background check on the man and found out that he had a criminal history that included three convictions for assault and battery.
Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, whose report over the weekend detailed how the Secret Service botched a response to a man who fired an assault rifle at the White House in 2011, wrote that the agents were surprised to find out that the man was even carrying a gun:
Agents questioned him, and used a database check to learn of his criminal history.
When a supervisor from the private security firm approached and learned of the agents’ concern, the contractor was fired on the spot and agreed to turn over his gun — surprising agents, who had not realized he was armed during his encounter with Obama.
Leonnig’s report states that a Secret Service spokesman will provide a response soon.
Leonnig also reported today that the Secret Service agent who finally tackled the intruder who penetrated the White House on Sept. 19 was off-duty at the time.