White House

Suspected White House jumper lingered around grounds, stopped to tie shoes, Chaffetz says

Kelly Wright reports from New York

 

A man who was arrested Saturday for allegedly jumping over the White House fence lingered on the property for nearly 20 minutes and was lurking around in plain view, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told Fox News Tuesday.

Chaffetz said the suspected jumper, Jonathan Tuan Tran, 26, was lingering around the east portico Friday.

The congressman initially spoke to TMZ after he met with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and Acting Director of the Secret Service William J. Callahan. He said he heard some “sobering things” in the meeting and that it was “astonishing a person could do this.”

“This is a major wake up call,” Chaffetz told reporters. “Worst I’ve seen to date.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., added, “we have to learn from all of this and make corrections now.”

Secret Service agents checked the grounds with no sense of urgency, TMZ reported. Chaffetz said some alarms failed and others went off and the intruder went undetected.

President Trump was in the White House during the incident.

Tran was charged late Saturday in a District of Columba federal court with “entering or remaining in restricted grounds while using or carrying a dangerous weapon.” Court documents obtained by Fox News state Tran had two cans of mace in his possession, including one inside his jacket pocket.

The Secret Service said the suspect scaled an outer-perimeter fence on the White House complex’s southeast side, near the Treasury Building, and was arrested without further incident by an officer in the agency’s Uniformed Division. Court documents state surveillance video shows Tran hiding behind a White House column.

The documents also state Trans was also carrying an Apple laptop computer, a book written by Trump and a letter to the president.

Fox News’ John Roberts, Pat Ward and Joseph Weber contributed to this report.