Security guard with gun, criminal record allowed on elevator with Obama

Greg Nash

An armed security contractor with a criminal background was allowed in an elevator with President Obama earlier this month, according to reports, adding to a string of security breaches plaguing the Secret Service.

The member of a private security firm was on an elevator with Obama during the president's trip to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Sept. 16. 

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The man did not comply with agents who told him to stop filming the president on the elevator. Only when a supervisor for the private security firm came over to address the situation did the agents realize the man had a gun, according to the the reports.

The man, who was not identified, had three prior convictions for assault and battery, according to the Washington Post

“You have a convicted felon within arm’s reach of the president and they never did a background check,” Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told the newspaper.

“Words aren’t strong enough for the outrage I feel for the safety of the President and his family.”

Chaffetz has been a leader in pushing for greater accountability from the Secret Service which has seen a number of embarrassing security mishaps in recent years.

A Secret Service official said Tuesday that the reports describing the incident were "generally accurate."

"But this is an ongoing investigation and we're still collecting details," the official said.

A White House official did not immediately respond to a question about whether President Obama had been briefed about the incident.

The CDC incident is likely to raise further questions about Secret Service security protocols.

The House Oversight Committee held a hearing Tuesday to probe how a man was able to jump the White House fence and make it well inside the building before being stopped in an incident earlier this month.

Director Julia Pierson said she accepted “full responsibility” and was reviewing the agency’s practices.

Chaffetz also tweeted about the elevator incident on Tuesday. "Security contractor with a gun next to the President happened two weeks ago, according to my whistleblower," he wrote.

— This story was updated at 7 p.m.

Justin Sink contributed.

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