The Secret Service launched a security review to learn how a man carrying a knife was able to get inside the front door of the White House on Friday night after jumping a fence and sprinting more than 70 yards across the North Lawn. The Washington Post says it was the first time that has ever happened. Within seconds, the man who served three tours in Iraq and has served as a sniper got to the front double doors of the North Portico, turned the brass knob and stepped inside the vestibule.
There he was grabbed and subdued by an officer standing post inside the door. He had a folding knife with a 2 1 / 2-inch serrated blade. The success Omar J. Gonzalez, 42, had in breaching White House security a few minutes after the president and his daughters lifted off the south grounds in his helicopter for Camp David exposed new, worrisome gaps in the Secret Service's extensive efforts to keep the first family safe and make the White House a “hard target.” “This is totally and wholly unacceptable. . . . How safe is the president if this can happen?” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on national security. “I just can't believe somebody can go that far without being impeded. The perception they are creating is only going to inspire more security breaches.”