WASHINGTON — An internal Secret Service document reveals that last month's gate crashing incident at a White House state dinner was one of 91 security breaches since 1980.
The 2003 report was used for training purposes, and helped agents evaluate security procedures and improve their response to breaches, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said. A breach can range from a White House fence jumper to a fame-seeking Virginia couple making their way inside a state dinner without an invitation, he said.
Tareq and Michaele Salahi were not on the guest list for the Nov. 24 dinner and had not been cleared by the Secret Service for admission into the White House. Despite that, they were allowed in, shook hands with President Barack Obama, and had their picture taken with Vice President Joe Biden.
While testifying before Congress last week, Secret Service director Mark Sullivan said normal security protocols were not followed during the dinner. Three officers have since been put on administrative leave.
The gate crashing was among ten security breaches since 2001, Donovan said. Eight have happened off White House grounds.
An official who had access to the report said most but not all of the 91 breaches involved the president. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss the report. The document was first reported in The Washington Post.