President Obama Shared Elevator With Armed Felon
By Glynn Cosker
Editor, In Homeland Security
President Barack Obama rode an elevator with an armed felon on Sept. 16, just three days before a man scaled a White House fence, evaded security and made his way to the East Room inside the mansion. The news—revealed Tuesday—is yet another embarrassing revelation concerning the U.S. Secret Service.
The elevator incident occurred at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta during a trip by President Obama to discuss West Africa’s Ebola outbreak. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), heard the revelation from a whistleblower and The Washington Post confirmed details late Tuesday.
“You have a convicted felon within arm’s reach of the president and they never did a background check,” stated Chaffetz. “His life was in danger.”
The U.S. Secret Service has protocols in place whereby all individuals who share space with the president outside of the White House are searched and vetted for a criminal history. The man in question was a private contractor with the CDC. He aroused the interest of the Secret Service when he refused to stop filming the president inside the elevator with his cellphone.
The man was also allegedly acting “oddly” according to CDC officials who fired him on the spot upon hearing that he did not comply with the Secret Service’s wishes regarding his cellphone. A criminal background check followed before the man handed over a gun to shocked and surprised agents.
It’s clear that the president’s life was in danger in that elevator in Atlanta, illustrating another outrageous breakdown in basic security by the Secret Service. Had the man reached for his gun instead of his phone, the world would be a different place.
This latest appalling news came on the same day that the agency’s director Julia Pierson was grilled on Capitol Hill for the White House occurrence. Pierson took full responsibility for that breach in security and Congress ordered a fully independent review of the U.S. Secret Service’s handling of the incident.
Ramifications regarding the elevator debacle will emerge in the coming days, but as of Tuesday, the Secret Service gave no official response.