Secret Service Let Obama on Elevator With Armed Felon

The guy wouldn't stop filming the president with his phone
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2014 6:00 PM CDT
Secret Service Let Obama on Elevator With Armed Felon
President Obama speaks at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta during a visit on Sept. 16.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

And the hits just keep on coming for the Secret Service: The Washington Examiner today reports on yet another serious lapse in security involving President Obama. The latest incident occurred just two weeks ago when the president traveled to Atlanta to visit the CDC—and ended up in an elevator with an armed man who has no fewer than three convictions for assault and battery. That's a lapse on two fronts, explains the Washington Post: Anyone in such close proximity to the president is supposed to be screened for weapons and criminal history. Unbeknownst to Secret Service agents traveling with Obama, this person had both. He was reportedly a contractor from a private security firm who was operating the elevator during the presidential visit.

The man drew the attention of Secret Service agents when he refused to comply with orders to stop filming the president in the elevator with his smartphone. When agents questioned him afterward and then learned he had a criminal history, they called in his supervisor. The man got fired immediately and had to turn over his weapon to his boss—which is the first time the agents learned that he was armed. “You have a convicted felon within arm’s reach of the president and they never did a background check,” says Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican. “Words aren’t strong enough for the outrage I feel for the safety of the president and his family." (The agency's director was grilled on Capitol Hill today and promised reform.)

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