WASHINGTON — The Secret Service director says at least two of her uniformed officers recognized a man just before he jumped the White House fence from an earlier troubling encounter with him. But she acknowledged that they never approached him that day or reported his presence to superiors.
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday that two officers on Sept. 19 recognized the intruder, Omar J. Gonzalez, from their earlier interview with him, on Aug. 25. Gonzalez was stopped that day while carrying a small hatchet near the fence line south of the White House.
Pierson says weeks later, on Sept. 19, the same officers observed him “for some time” but never intervened. Then Gonzalez, whom officials say had a knife, went over the White House fence and made his way inside the executive mansion.