WASHINGTON — Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle is “furious” over an apparent security breach that allowed an intruder to enter the home of national security adviser Jake Sullivan undetected last month, according to two sources familiar with the case. affair.
The incident, which occurred in the middle of the night a few weeks ago, is largely considered «human error» within the Secret Service, the sources said.
There were no signs of forced entry into Sullivan’s home, but even if the doors were unlocked or an alarm system wasn’t used, as a source said, the Secret Service doesn’t blame technology for the incident.
The Secret Service is taking the matter «extremely seriously» and is evaluating the potential consequences for the agents involved in the incident, which one source clearly described as «not acceptable.»
Sullivan had a brief but non-physical encounter with the intruder, a source said, and after the intruder left his home, Sullivan alerted the Secret Service.
A working theory in the Secret Service investigation is that perhaps an intoxicated or confused person living nearby entered the wrong house, the source added, but that possible explanation does not absolve the agents responsible for protecting Sullivan, who has security 24 hours because of your public profile.
The White House has declined to comment.
Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday that he has «complete faith in the Secret Service» and declined to comment on the incident. “They do a remarkable job every day as professionals protecting people,” she said.
Although the incident occurred in late April, it was made public only when the washington post first reported it on Tuesday.
Now the GOP-led House Homeland Security Committee says it plans to look into the matter.
Committee chairman Mark Green, a Tennessee Republican, said he contacted the Secret Service to request a briefing and plans to meet with Cheatle «soon.»
«What happened at the home of National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan is unacceptable,» Green said in a statement Wednesday. “We know that our foreign adversaries are openly targeting high-ranking US officials, so it is crucial that these men and women are adequately protected in all circumstances. Our nation’s Secret Service agents are some of the best, but if there are security breaches, we must identify and fix them immediately.»
The Secret Service said in a statement Tuesday that it was investigating how an intruder was able to get into Sullivan’s home.
«Any deviation from our protection protocols is unacceptable and if discovered, staff will be held accountable,» spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. «Modifications have also been made to the protection posture to ensure additional security layers are in place as we conduct this comprehensive review.»
Politicians and government officials have received more threats in recent years.
Capitol Hill Police Chief Thomas Manger told a congressional hearing Tuesday that his force is dealing with a roughly 400% increase in the number of threats against members of Congress over the past six years.
Sullivan has been President Joe Biden’s national security adviser since the beginning of his presidency. He worked in the Obama administration and was also a foreign policy adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential campaign.
rebecca shabad contributed.