WASHINGTON, – The alarm protecting the Houston home of former President George H.W. Bush was broken for more than a year, raising more concerns about the Secret Service and the safety of the Bush family, according to a report to be released Thursday.
The Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s report said in the 13 months or more the alarm system was broken the Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting all former presidents, spouses and residences, posted an agent to a “roving post to secure the residence,” the report says.
The 20-year-old alarm system failed in September 2013, opening the chance the 41st president and his wife, Barbara, were home without protection, the report said. It wasn’t replaced until November or December of 2014, the report said.
Bush spokesman Jim McGrath told CBS News, “George and Barbara Bush have total confidence in the men and women of the Secret Service. Their trust in them is as unshakable as it is unbreakable.”
The report, which is partially redacted, also raises security concerns at other former presidents’ homes. The presidents named were blacked out.
Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the incident is unacceptable.
“I’m glad they know about it now, but for more than a year we had a former president of the United States whose basic alarm system wasn’t working. Are you kidding me? That’s unbelievable,” he said in an interview with CBS News.
This isn’t the first time the Secret Service has come under fire after showing questionable judgement. In March, two senior agents drove through the scene of a suspicious-package investigation. The same month, two agents drove onto the White House grounds after spending time at a bar. In late 2014, an intruder scaled a fence and entered the White House.