Secret Service Nabs Intruder At White House Entrance

A man calling himself a “friend of the president” breached the perimeter of White House grounds with a backpack late Friday night, authorities said Saturday.

The unidentified man scaled the fence on the compound’s east side at 11:38 p.m. and made it to the building’s South Portico entrance before he was caught by uniformed Secret Service officers.

That barrier protects both the White House and neighboring Treasury Building, but the man wasn’t immediately detected by security cameras, CNN reported.

He was caught by uniformed officers on their routine patrol of the grounds.

The White House was briefly placed under security condition “orange” — one of the highest alert levels — as agents arrested the man and searched the grounds for other potential intruders, CNN said.

Secret Service personnel arrested the suspect and turned him over to Washington DC metro police.

“No, I am a friend of the president. I have an appointment,” he told district police, CNN reported. “I jumped the fence.”

The intruder’s backpack was searched but nothing dangerous was found inside, official said.

President Trump was in the White House at the time.

Trump said that the “Secret Service did a fantastic job last night,” according to Time magazine, adding that the president called the intruder a “troubled person.”

“(President Trump) was made aware of the situation at the (White House). (Secretary of Homeland Security) General (John) Kelly was kept aware of the situation the entire time,” said White House press secretary Sean Spicer, according to Time.

The White House’s south entrance is often used to greet VIP guests, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month.

Past presidents have also departed the south entrance of the White House when they head for the Marine One helicopter.

Friday night was one of 16 separate cases of people scaling the White House fence in the previous five years.

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