Congressman: White House intruder went undetected on grounds for 17 minutes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the House Oversight Committee says an intruder on the White House grounds was able to "look through" a White House window and "rattle the door handle" before being apprehended last week.

Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz tells CNN he was told by the Homeland Security Secretary that the person went undetected on the grounds for 17 minutes while President Donald Trump was inside.

Chaffetz calls the incident a "complete and utter total failure."

The Secret Service said in a statement that the intruder breached a 5-foot outer perimeter fence and scaled an 8-foot vehicle gate to gain entry.

The agency stressed the intruder never made it inside White House.

It is still investigating and has put additional security posts, technology enhancements and new response protocols into place.

The Secret Service said in a statement:

"The Secret Service is providing the following information regarding the investigation of an individual who gained access to the White House grounds on March 10, 2017. The Secret Service immediately initiated a comprehensive investigation into this matter. Although the investigation is ongoing, at this time we have conducted in excess of 50 interviews regarding this incident and have reviewed radio transmissions and video footage to conclude the following events transpired.

At 11:21:38 pm an individual breached an outer perimeter fence near the Treasury complex, near East Executive Avenue. This fence is approximately 5 feet in height. The individual proceeded within the secure perimeter and scaled an 8 foot vehicle gate. The individual then proceeded to climb over a 3 ½ foot fence near the SE corner of the East Wing of the White House grounds.Uniformed Division Officers attempted to ascertain the location and identity of the individual. At 11:38:00 pm, the individual was taken into custody on the grounds without incident.

The Secret Service can confirm that at no time did the individual gain entry into the White House.

On background:

The men and women of the Secret Service are extremely disappointed and angry in how the events of March 10th transpired.

Immediate steps have been taken to mitigate lapses in security protocols even as the investigation continues. These steps include additional posts, technology enhancements, and response protocols."

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