tv Jose Diaz- Balart MSNBC September 30, 2014 7:00am-8:01am PDT
good morning. i'm jose diaz-balart. our first focus. breaking news right now. secret service director is about to face a grilling at the house oversight committee hearing about the work of the secret service. congress has returned from recess for the hearing, which comes amid shocking new information about how far an armed intruder named omar gonzalez made it into the white house on 19th of september. check out the animation the path gonzalez took. all the way to the east room. gonzalez cascare is one concern. they tend to get answers from pearson about a series of incidents. the lone gunman firing shots a the white house in twvp. the prostitution scandal involving agents in colombia and night of drinking in march that
lead to three being sent home from a presidential trip in amsterdam. the white house stood by the work of the service but there are plenty of questions heading into the morning's hearing. let's go right to chris jansing at the white house. tell us about this. the white house has been supportive of the secret service so far. it's going to change? >> well, on the record? that's what they say. the president has confidence although he also -- josh earnest told us during the daily briefing that the president and first lady were concerned. they have small children and some of these incidents have happened either while one of the children was in the house or just left. this is going to be a tough day for julia pearson. she's a 31-year veteran of the secret service. came from the orlando police department but has been the head of the agency for just 18 months. she was brought in after that prostitution scandal to really work on the image to change the culture.
now i should say there was a homeland security inspector general's report that found there was no problem with the culture. these latest incidents, though, raise much more serious problems than that. more than the culture. it's about their ability to protect the president. when you have in one case a man come over the fence and having to be stopped by dogs and guns drawn officers. somebody that gets back to the east room and we hear that an alarm that is supposed to let people know, let the agents know when someone has breached the front door was turned off because it was annoyance to some members of the white house staff when you hear that the dogs who were at the ready were not released. a lot of serious questions going to be asked. i think it's important to point out these are bipartisan concerns that have been raised over the last 24 to 48 hours. >> we saw julia pearson enter the committee hearing room.
tell me about her. >> she started at the orlando police department. she is somebody that worked her way up through the agency. she already, when she was appointed, was the highest ranking woman at the agency. the first female director. she was on the presidential protective detail on several presidents. president bushes, president clinton. she got heavily -- before named director into human resources and training. so she knows how this all works and she'll get a lot of questions about what went wrong. >> chris jansing thank you so much. i want to bring in the washington post. >> your newspaper is driving the story. you wrote that the remedy the secret service is pursuing like the no go zone is punishing the public and not dealing with the underlying problem. what is the underlying problem? >> well, hopefully we'll find out more about it today. i mean, there are various problems. one the secret service created a
real pr problem for themselves by not disclosing all that happened. first, we were told that the intruder was tackled as soon as he got in the north now we find out he took a tour of the first floor there. one wonders if he got into the executive office and signed a few executive orders while he was there. so there's going to be a whole lot of questions about this agency's kpe tension. i think it is going to be a bipartisan questioning. the agency can rightly say, look we've been underfunded. we've been having problems filling slots. there's no excuse for failing to lock the door, for turning the alarm off. it's usually a partisan committee, i think it will be a bipartisan shellacking. >> let's take a look. why don't we watch it together live here on msnbc. it is our job to work tirelessly it bring genuine reform to the
federal bureaucracy. this is our mission at today's hearing follows one of the most important parts of that mission. with $1.5 billion spent by the vet service, nearly a billion spent on protection of the first family, the second family, former presidents, and presidential candidates the united states secret service was always considered to be the elite law enforcement agency made up of men and women who were highly regarded, respected, and trusted. the country has placed great faith and trust in the secret service. the agents of the uniform division, their officers, and the secret service agents have a monument tal task. that of protecting the nation's
presidents past, present, and future. they do so honorably and not without considerable personal sacrifice. they ensure the safety of the first and second family, yes. and the safety of foreign dignitaries throughout washington and at times around the world. they ensure the safety of every man and woman who enters the white house and accompanying buildings. but a history of misbehavior security failures has clearly blemished that record. on september 19th, omar gonzalez jumped the north fence, ran across the white house lawn, up the steps of the north, and into the front door of the white house. he was armed with a 3-incher is raided knife. he entered through an unlocked door, past the staircase to the presidential residence, and into the east room of the white
house. ladies and gentlemen, that was the part of my opening statement that was changed last night when the early false report that, in fact, he had been apprehended inside the front door was turned upside down by a revelation that in fact he penetrated much further into the white house. secret service officers only subdued him after he was clearly well inside the white house. an intruder walked in the front door of the white house and that is unacceptable. common sense tells us there were a series of security failures not an instance of praise worthy restraint. inexpolice bli omar gonzalez breached five rings of security on september 19th. the white house is supposed to be one of america's most secure
facilities, in fact, one of the world's most secure facilities. so how on earth did it happen? this failure was once again tested has tested the trust of the american people in the secret service. a trust we clearly depend on to protect the president. after allowing a star crashers at the dinner, after prostitutes, after excessive drinking an an agent falling asleep outside his room in the neters lands, yes, after the mishandling of the 11/11/11 event, a gunman who sprayed bullets across the white house and reported caused over $100,000 in damage that was not properly reported in real time
or understood in real time. it's understandable that the morale of the agency appears to be in decline, according to news reports. in light of the recent break in, we have to ask whether the culture at the secret service and possible declining morale have an impact in operation. those are some of our questions today. the appointment of director pearson brought new hope that the agency would reclaim the noble image. but recent events have so troubled us that, in fact, we have called the director here to face some tough questions. how could mr. gonzalez scale the fence? we understand that. that happens often. people try to scale that fence. but how is it that as would ordinarily happen agents didn't immediately apprehend him. how was he able to sprint 70
yards almost the entire length of a football field without being intercepted by guards inside the fence? why didn't security dogs stop him in his tracks? what about the s.w.a.t. team and assault rifle -- or sniper rifles? why was there no guard stationed at the front door of the white house. and yes, how much would it cost to lock the front door of the white house? the secret service must show us how there's a clear path back to public trust. the purpose of today's hearing is to gain answers to the many questions plaguing the secret service. today we will hear from experts on both the agency's protocol, foreign and domestic, but most importantly we'll hear from the secret service director herself on her plans to improve the agency's performance. americans face real danger as we serve interest abroad.
especially those stationed in our embassies. it's a time of great peril. we're engaged in a battle against isil as we speak. but that is not limited to foreign soil. americans know that the next attempt to take the white house may not be by a crazied, solo knife-wielding veteran with ptsd. it could well be a planned attack from a terrorist organization. the fact is, the system broke down on september 19th. as it did when the state dinner was crashed in 2009. as it did when hernandez successfully shot the white house on november 11th, 2011. as it did when agents paid for prostitutes and comprised
security. as it did in the netherlands in 2014. we cannot further allow this. more importantly as i said to the director before today's hearing. the secret service relies on two important skills or facts. their skill, their capability to present the president must be at the highest level because they cannot succeed 99%. because 1% failure is not an option. but they also rely on a good faith belief by most people that they shouldn't even try. this is the hardest target on earth. we need to make sure that second hardest target on earth is true again fwhoet reality and in the minds of anyone who might take on the secret service to get to the president or the first family. with that, i recognize the
ranking member for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we begin with today's hearing with an obvious premise. no individual should be allowed to scale the fence of the white house, sprint across the north lawn, and burst into the residence of the first family with a weapon. no one. our goal today is also clear. to determine how it happened and make sure it never happens ag n again. this is our watch. this recent incident, unfortunately, causes many people to ask whether there's a much broader problem with the secret service. last night the washington post reported that omar gonzalez made his way into the east room much further than the secret service previously disclosed. another report in this weekend's
post about a shooting incident in 2011 raises even more questions about the competency and culture of this elite agency. what concerns me most about this report is that agents said they were hesitant. agents in this agency said they were hesitant to raise security concerns with their supervisors. ladies and gentlemen, something is awfully wrong with that picture. the secret service is supposed to be the most elite protective force in the world, yet four days went by before they discovered the white house had been shot seven times. then 2012 there was the prostitution scandal in
colombia. it has little to do with tactical issues, it seriously damaged the agency's credibility. the secret service must not only carry out its detauties with th highest degree of excellence and effectiveness. it also must maintain a reputation which matches that performance. as the chairman said, much of what deters people from trying to pierce the protective veil of the secret service is the reputation. it must be one of excellence and effectiveness. today's witness was a appointed as the director of the secret service last year to help restore the agency's standing. she has had a distinguished 30-year career with the agency. and to her credit, she immediately ordered an internal review and agreed to testify. respect to the most recent
incident, i have key questions for the director that i know i share by many people across the country. did the secret service have specific protocols for handling this perimeter breach? if so, were those protocols followed in this case, and if they weren't followed, do they need to be changed in light of what happened. if the protocols were not followed, why were they not followed? and how can we have confidence they will be followed in the future? i want to understand what happened prior to the incident. gonzalez was arrested in virginia two months earlier on july 19th. mr. chairman, i would like to enter into the record an inventory sheet that was provided to us by the virginia state police. it lists the contents of this
car, which included an arsenal of 11 firearms, sniper rifles, and sawed off shotgun. >> without objection the entire report be placed in the record. >> thank you very much. it also included contents of his car, which included a small arsenal of 11 firearms, including sniper rifles and sawed off shotgun. it also included a map of washington, d.c., with an, and i quote, a line drawn to the white house. according to the virginia state police, the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms and explosives concluded there was no information in gonzalez's history that prohibited him from owning these firearms. yet he was severely mentally ill
and a military psychiatric treated him for post-traumatic stress disorder and paranoid schizophrenia. mr. chairman, i hate to even imagine what could have happened if gonzalez had been carrying a gun instead of a knife when he burst inside the white house. that possibility is extremely unsettling. today we face two challenges. first, the secret service has not yet completed the internal view. i understand the director will provide us with a status update but the final results are not yet in. second, some of the information is classified so we cannot discuss it in public. the very last thing we want to do is give people like gonzalez a road map for how to attack the president or other officials protected by the secret service. this does not mean the committee cannot obtain the information. the director sent a letter on friday offering not only to testify here today in the public
setting, but also to provide all of us with a classified briefing. the chairman now agreed to hold the classified session in a separate room directly after this hearing concludes. let me make a final point. this, ladies and gentlemen, is not a democratic issue. this is not a republican issue. this is an american issue. this is also an issue of national security. the vast majority of men served and women serve in the secret service are dedicated, experienced, who are willing to lay down their lives for their country. and on behalf of a grateful congress and grateful nation, i thank every one of them. they have an extremely difficult job. like others in similar positions, they are required to make instant life or death decisions in extremely stressful
situations. last year, for example, the capitol police shot and killed an unarmed woman with a 1-year-old girl in the backseat of her car. some praised their quick responses, others criticized their responses. they acted based upon their first-hand experience here in the capital when another deranged individuals burst through the doors and killed two capitol police officers. the secret service has a high profile job, but it is critically important and it requires accountability. the spotlight is brightly on their actions today. i look forward to the testimony. i thank you for bringing us back to the hearing. and i look forward to the questions that i've already raised and others being answered. with that i yield back. >> thank you. mr. couplings. >> i recognize the gentleman
from utah the subcommittee chairman on national security for his opening statement. >> i thank the chairman and i also thank the ranking member mr.. we in the united states of america are so critical. it's one of the beauties of our nation. we hold ourselves accountable. we have wonderful men and women who serve this nation. they do it patriotly. they walk away from their families and spouse. they don't know what the day will bring them. they do so in a very, very honorable way. we thank them for their service and dedication. but i have serious concerns about the current leadership. i have concern about training and i have concerns about property call. that's i want to get at today. since the current director has taken on this role, it's also important to note she was of chief of staff since 2008. it's not good enough to simply
excuse it as something we're trying to clean up before. she was the chief of staff starting in 2008. i'm concerned about her leadership and the mixed messages sent to those serving in the secret service. for instance, after the fence jumping incident, the secret service was quick to put out a statement that honored the officers and agents for their, quote, tremendous restraint. tremendous restraint is not what we're looking for. tremendous restraint is not the goal of the objective. it sends a mixed mess an. the message should be overwhelming force. if one person can hop that wall -- hop that fence and run unimpeded into an open door at the white house, don't praise them for tremendous restraint. that's not the goal. that's not what we're looking for. if there alarms inside the door that were muted or silenced, i want to know why that is. who makes that call decision. that, to me, is a leadership
decision. i think at some point we need to revisit 2013 inspector general's report which said there's not a problem here but has over a thousand indications of security concerns. in the opening statement say we have to be 100% right all the time. everybody agrees with that. the inspector general's report is pretty damming. very concerned about the 2011 incident. thankful for the washington post. as best i can tell from the spot report, as well as the article in the washington post, the event in 2011 where eight shots were fired at the white house you had no less than 5 secret service agents report they thought they heard shots fired. you had somebody on twitter report they saw somebody shoot at the white house. there were two people in two different shuttle vans who reported they saw somebody firing a weapon at the white house. blocks away, moments later,
somebody crashes a vehicle and assault rifle is in there. and the secret service is on the scene and nobody ties those two together. i don't understand it. later the articleton county police detained this person. he had been positively identified based on what that vehicle there. but nobody put it in the system to put him on the watch list. when the arlington county police pull him over, they take his picture, and let him go. it was only the pennsylvania police, five days later, that finds this person. now he's serving some 25 years in jail. but he could have done a lot more damage. if the director is truly going to take full responsibility, i think your opening statement and the goals so you should talk about leadership. because as i talk abouted to the whistle blowers in the secret service and others they're concerned about leadership. i'm also concerned about training. as i look at the 2015 budget
request, from the white house, on page 39, there's a basic class total. i want to run through the numbers. it's important on the training aspect. under special agent basic classes in 2009 there were eight classes. in 2010 there were eight classes. in 2011 there were five classes. 2012 there were no classes. in 2013 there was one class. in the uniform division basic class, 2009-2010 11 cases. in 2011 there were since clax c. in 2013 and 2012 there was one class. the budget line didn't go down. it's being basically the same. why did the training diminish? and finally, mr. chairman, i worry about protocol. again, i mentioned tremendous restraint is what the secret service touted.
that's not the projective. we want to see overwhelming force. if it would be a intruder could not stopped by a dog or intercepted bay person, perhaps more lethal force is necessary. i want the secret service agents and officers to know at least this member of congress has their back. don't let somebody get close to the president. don't get somebody close to his family. don't let them get in the white house ever. if they have to take action that is lethal, i will have their back. in this day and age of isil and terrorists and bombs, we don't know what is going on underneath the person's clothing. if they want to penetrate that they need to know they are going to perhaps be killed. if that's the message we should be sending. every single time. and that's the kind of secret service that i expect. i thank them again for their service and dedication, we love them and care for them. but we need better leadership. it's not happening. i yield back. >> i thank the gentleman. we recognize the gentle lady
from the district of columbia for her opening statement. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you for this hearing. my respect for the secret service goes back to when i was growing up as a child in the district of columbia continue process foundly to this very day. but today recent events call for and -- recent unprecedented events call for an unprecedented response. first, an increasing number of white house jumpers, including the most recent this month able to get into the interior of the white house. before that in 2011 multiple shots into the living quarters of the first family discovered only four days later, not by secret service investigation but
by white house staff. beyond these failures, in the core mission of the secret service to protect the white house and the first family is an unsettle ling failure to disclose perhaps even understand what has occurred or to investigate. together this combination of failures suggests strongly that the time is right for a 21st century make over of the secret service. i do not regard this matter as a mere question of personnel. i believe it goes far deeper than that. the stunning events have occurred during a period where the united states, and by definition the white house and even the president are being targeted by domestic and international terrorists.
according to the threat assessments, this president has had three times as many threats as his predecessors. just as have indications of unwarranted secrecy in the secret service. the secret service is not a secret society if there is a willing avoidance of needed transparency. that in itself poses a danger to the white house. for example, when noise is heard that some believe could be gunfire at the white house, others believe is automobile backfire, and others believe is gun -- gang gunfire, isn't it -- for the secret service to presume such a sound is gunfire
until an immediate investigation shows it was not. when line officers close to the sound have to become whistle blowers has active suppression of information become yet another threat to the white house. worse do such failures show that some in the secret service are in denial of danger. perhaps posing the greatest risk to the white house. particularly troubling in light of such unanswered questions would be the rush to quick fixes such as suppression of public access to the area around the white house without a thorough investigation.
the white house and wilafayette park, just like the congress -- and the public must be allowed to express their grievances as they always have been. in light of the seriousness of recent breaches the investigation at the first instance by the department of homeland security could go well beyond the details of these events. this is not a mere question of personnel. changing people at the top or in between will not solve the issue i think we are presenting. we must learn whether today's secret service as structured,
for example, could stop five or six fence jumpers jumping at the same time intent on harm to the white house and the president. not just a demented war vet, who even alone, might have succeeded. no scenario should be off the table. director pearson has shown accomplishments in her 18 months as director. the heroism of the secret service is beyond debate. the white house intruder was brought down after an agent.
by the white house and the president have been thrust into a new era of danger. the secret service should welcome an outside investigation to assure that the necessary resources and the expert backup and the structure for the 21st century is necessary for it to do its job. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i thank the gentle ladies. members may have seven days to submit questions for the record. i ask unanimous consent miss swr jackson-lee be allowed to participate. our colleague, the gentleman from missouri, mr. long, be allowed to participate in today's hearing. without objection so ordered. wi we welcome our panel of witnesses the honorable julia
pearson is the director the united states secret service. the honorable ralph is the former director the united states secret social security and currently a partner at command consulting group. the honorable todd keel is the former assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at united states department of homeland security, and is currently a senior adviser to touchdown pauj. per student to the committee's rules i ask that you please all rise and raise your right hand to take the oath. >> do you swear or affirm that the testimony you're about to give will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? please be seated. let the record reflect that all witnesses answered in the affirmative. in order to allow sufficient time for discussion and questions, please limit your testimony to five minutes. your entire opening statement
will be made a permanent part of the record. with that, director pearson is recognized. >> good morning chairman issa, distinguished members of the committee. i'm here today to address the concerns we share following the incident september 19th. it's clear our security plan was not properly executed. it's unacceptable and i take full responsibility and i will make sure that it does not happen again. as director, my primary concern is ensuring the readiness of my work force. i have been addressing our capital challenge, ensuring professionalism, and developing leaders through active engage i've made it clear my expectations for professionalism and personal accountability. much of what we do to protect the president and the white house involves information and highly sensitive or classified, so i'll be limited in what i can say in a public hearing.
on september 19th, a man scaled the north fence of the white house, crossed the lawn, while ignoring verbal commands, entered through the front door and subsequently arrest order the state floor. immediately that night, i ordered enhancements around the complex and in consultation with a secretary, initiated comprehensive review of the incident and protective measures to ensure this will not happen again. the review began with a physical assessment of the site and personnel interviews. all decisions made that evening are being evaluated including those on taktdices and use of force in light of the totality of the circumstances confronting those officers. i am committed to the following: a complete and thorough investigation of the fact of the incident, a complete review of protocols in place, and a response to the incident and base issed on the result of that review a coordinated, informed effort to make any and all adjustments to include training and personnel actions necessary
to properly ensure the safety and security of the president and the first family and the white house. the white house emergency action plans are multifaceted and tailored to each threat. the secret service has apprehended 16 individualities who have jumped the fence over the last five years including six this year alone. in fact on september 11th, 2014, a week prior to the event that are subject of today's hearing officers apprehended an individual seconds after he scaled the fence and ran on to the grounds. in addition to fence skrumpers over the last five years, hundreds of individuals have approached the white house perimeter verbalizing threats to our protectees or acting in a suspicious manner. officers leverage their training to make decisions to arrest or transfer the individuals to appropriate facilities for mental health evaluations. protecting the white house complex is a challenge in any threat environment in addition to be a national icon it consistents of the public places, exec offices and the
private residence of the president and first family. ensuring the safety of all who work in the white house requires a unique balance. in this environment, we are never satisfied by the status quo and constantly reviewing our security protocols. with the help of congress we have enhanced our protective counter measures a the white house. in the past five years the secret service updated perimeter cameras, vehicle gates, and command and control systems. we have generated many security enhancements in direct responses. i thank the congress for their support and this time of constrained resources. beyond technology, approximately 75% of our annual budget is dedicated to payroll which support our most valuable asset. our people. the agency relies heavily on experience, training and judgment of our men and women to make critical split-second
decisions. with respect to the many questions that have been raised and opinions propered in the wake of the september 189th consistent, i do not want to get ahead of the investigation that is underway. the secret service has had a share of challenges in recent years and some during my tenure i intend to lead the secret service through the challenges and restore our agency's reputation to the level of excellence that the american public kpengtss. as director, i'm proud of the secret service's work force who serve each day with honors and distinction. last week our employees scufflely implemescuffle ly -- successfully implemented secure measures at the united nations summit. they have completed over 5600 successful protective missions. it is my responsibility to ensure that these men and women have the resources and training they need to succeed. as director, i have worked with the department of homeland security, the sk tear johnson, the administration, and congress to include members of this
committee to develop a comprehensive forward leading strategy to further enhance the secret service's work force and operational capabilities. we remain dedicated and committed to protecting the president, the first family, and the santty of the white house. i thank the committee today for the opportunity to appear and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. >> mr. chairman, ranking member -- >> could you turn the mic on and pull it a little closer, please. try that. >> thank you. distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to share my perspective today on the recent event at the white house and more broadly on the state of an agency i care great deal about, the united states secret service. let me say at the onset, forward discussing how the recent incident highlights some of the challenges the secret service has is long faced.
at the white house complex and balancing desired levels of security along with a functional needs of those who work and live in that complex. the practical realities of the thriving city it resides within and the historic symbolism and imagery of the people's house. the incident exposes certain steps the secret service got right and those they got wrong. and will identify corrective measures and additional resources that be considered. however, it poses some difficult questions for all of us on issues. like the use of lethal force and our tolerance or additional fortifications around the white house complex. those questions do not have easy answers and the long-term potential consequences must be thought through. let us also be mindful while our analysis of actions and shortcomings has been benefit of days of hindsight and consideration anyone who served on protective detail knows the decision making in a actual event with life and death
consequences is measured in milliseconds. those who are on duty during this incident had a much harder job than trying to get it right than we do here today. my perspective is one that is shaped bay career of over 30 years in the secret service, but also from my experiences at the head of three other operational components within the department of homeland security. and now for five years in the private sector, where i remain deeply involved in the homeland security issues and the implementation of international best practices as it relates to the protection of individuals and high value assets. i had the honor of joining the secret service in 1971 and i enjoyed a challenging and very interesting career. including being on protective details of henry disger, vice president bush, quayle, gore, and countless heads of state and foreign dignitaries. later president clinton appointed me as the director of federal law enforcement training center. eventually i returned to washington after the september
11th attacks to help start up the transportation security administration. i rejoined the secret service in 2003 when i was appointed director. where i was honored to serve for ov three years. i was appointed by president bush to serve as a commissioner of custom's and border protection. the largest law enforcement agency in the united states. i remained into that position at the request of secretary janet napolitano. i found a security company that works for private sector and government clients. therefore the viewpoint i will share on the subject before the committee today is informed largely by my experience with the secret service, but with the benefit of having worked for and with many other elite security organizations around the world for almost 40 years. let me commend this -- the members of this committee for the time and interest you are showing on this subject. especially at this juneture which there are so many pressing
security concerns to which our government must pay attention. it goes without saying that the recent incident with the individual jumping the white house fence, running across the north lawn, and making it inside the white house is unprecedented and unacceptable. this it not just my view, but as the director stated it's her view and other senior management of that agency as well as the rank and file. again, perspective is critically important in this incident. we could easily be sitting here today discussing why an iron veteran possibly suffering post-traumatic stress disorder armed with only a pocket knife was shot dead on the north lawn when the president and first family were not on the property. the secret service some of the split second decisions made during the latest incident will be examined, procedures will be debated, training will be altered, and in the end the secret service will learn valuable lessons as they have been doing throughout their history of protecting the president and his family. >> as we listen to the former
director of the secret service at this oversight committee hearing in washington, d.c., this morning, we will continue to stay on the story. i want to bring in luke russert. this is a pretty extraordinary hearing in the bipartisan nature of it. >> it is, jose. there is a little speculation by some democrats there could be some political flame throwing occurring today. so far it hasn't happened. this is a bipartisan grilling. the secret service piereson really trying to get answers about why there are flaws and break down in the chain of command about why the secret service was providing different answers to what exactly happened in the september incident and what happened in that incident in 2011. so expect her to get a very thorough grilling today from members of the democratic and republican party. however, i think the most important thing we heard came
from senator cummings. they agree to have a classified briefing for the members of the oversight committee after the public questioning. that's very important because from folks that i spoke to close to this, they say have said all the pertinent information that is important that will help lawmaker excert more effective oversight on the secret service will come out in the classifying briefed. obviously director piereson can't say publicly what the secret service does to present the president. that would be giving all the intelligence to those who could possibly do him harm, mr. obama. i think you'll see the most important stuff come in the classified hearing. expect her to be addressed down by the committee. and expect there to be answers along the lines we know we have to change. we're going to try to change. expect questions are they underfunded, overfunded? and then one thing i found interesting in the beginning with jose, calling on the secret
service to use lethal force more akki actively. i'm interested to see the response to that. there are a lot of questions why weren't dogs released or agent using taser eers. expect those types of questions. the real important stuff that will make a difference will come out in the classified briefing. >> i'm glad it's going to come out somewhere in the classifying hearing. it took nbc, the washington post, and others to come out with the information that the guy with the knife had gone in and visited most of the first floor of the white house before being tackled. i think the congresswoman raised a good question. look at the animation. it's not a small little house. and the fact that -- luke we have been, together, at the white house on many occasions. to see how something like that could happen. the guy with a knife and the
congresswoman holmes-norton brought up a great point. one guy with a knife can get that far. what are the plans and what are the requirements for protection if there are five or six people who instead of having a knife have something else more destructive and hell bent on doing damage to the white house or hurting the president and the first family? just seems like that's a question we can't answer. >> that's a break down there. you give a good question. it comes from the door being unlocked and the alarm being muted. that's interesting. the white house staff didn't like the interruptions of it. on the point, what if there is a force that wanted to do some real bad in this nature. ting points back to what one expert said to me yesterday that was more frightening was the high powered assault weapon being fired in 2011 farther away
from the white house a few blocks away but then still penetrated the windows there. had there been more high powered ammunition had gone in and the secret service not responding quickly enough. they need to secure the perimeter, number one. they need to figure out the concrete protocols and the action moving forward to be done when people jump the fence. are they tased, shot, dogs released? those are the answers we expect to hear today at the hearing. >> and bring it back to the beginning of our conversation. it's a bipartisan issue that has been occurring. and the fact is what are the message people around the world, as they see this, are getting about those who enter into the white house without an invitation. luke, i want you to stay with us. we're continue to watch and listen to the secret service hearing. some fireworks are on display. i want to check out the exclusive moment. a hall way interview kristen
welker had with the director moments before the hearing. >> why are we learning today that the intruder was tackled today. were you lying to the american people? >> i look forward to having an open discussion with the committee today. >> were you lying to the american people or were you mislead by your own agencies? >> the secret service is conducting an ongoing investigation. >> bravo, we're going have a lot more in second. stay with us on this day. breaking news on msnbc. insurance companies are spending millions of dollars
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it's clear our security plan was not properly executed. this is unacceptable and i take full responsibility and make sure that it does not happen again. >> that was secret service director julia piereson taking responsibility for the breaches at the white house. right now the third witness, todd keil making his opening statement. i want to bring in nbc senior white house correspondent chris
j jansing. both sides of the aisle upset. >> obviously they're concerned about safety of the president. it's job one of the secret service. when you have the press secretary standing behind the podium and saying to the president and first lady are concerned about the safety of their children, that raises a big red flag for everyone. there are so many things that are at play here. obviously one is the culture of the secret service. one is the morale like. we've heard from a number of people there are concerns about that. there's what julia piereson addressed is the operational concerns. there were so many times along the route an intruder could be stopped and wasn't. and finally, i think, elijah cumm iring cummings what said. if it no longer becomes a
deterrent does it invite more problems. multiple levels that julia piereson has to deal with. and making the blanket promise saying it will never happen again. she has her work cut out her. >> you talk about the culture. agents say they're hesitant to raise security concerns with their supervisors. this is a culture where you're not able to really express yourself freely. when you talk about the president of the united states and his family and their security. it seems like there's a real problem with that culture. >> and we know there was an agent who wanted to raise concerns about the 2011 incident where seven shots were fired into the white house and wanting to say to her supervisor who suggested it was some sort of gang incident that was not what happened. she was afraid. we know from direct testimony not just hearsay that's a problem within the agency. >> yeah. i'm wondering people take full
responsibility what it means in the long-term. and how you're able to change a culture where people were fearful of mentioning key important issues. thank you. and that wraps up this hour on msnbc. thank you for the privilege of your time. next on "newsnation" with tamron hall. more on breaking news from capitol hill as secret service director faces tough questions. the latest out of virginia on the link between the suspect in the case of the missing uva student and the 2009 murder. we'll see you tomorrow. e in texs if they want "big" savings on car insurance, it's a bit like asking if they want a big hat... ...'scuse me... ...or a big steak... ...or big hair... i think we have our answer. geico. fifteen minutes could save you
isn't it true -- there were stand down orders to people who called shotguns out. the bullets were not discovered to have hit the white house in real time within a 24 hour or greater period by the secret service. yes or no, please. >> mr. chairman you're referring to the hernandez shooting? >> yes. >> at that time it's my understanding that there was reports of shots being fired in proximity to constitution avenue. >> madam. no. stop, please. i want to be considerate to you. you have a hard job but you head an agency whose morale has gone down as lower comparable federal agencies. it's had a series of embarrassments. we're going to