Julia Pierson said Wednesday that she decided to resign as head of the Secret Service to "take pressure off the organization" after a number of serious security breaches.

Pierson resigned a day after a tough House hearing where lawmakers slammed the agency after an intruder was able to enter the White House and reports that an armed man with a criminal record rode an elevator with President Obama.


Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said he had accepted Pierson's resignation on Wednesday after the two met.

“We met in person, and after that discussion I felt this was the noble thing to do," Pierson told Bloomberg News, because it would “take pressure off the organization."

“I think it’s in the best interest of the Secret Service and the American public if I step down,” she added.

“Congress has lost confidence in my ability to run the agency. The media has made it clear that this is what they expected.”

Pierson faced withering criticism during the House Oversight Committee hearing, and on Wednesday a growing number of lawmakers turned on the director as calls for her resignation mounted.

"I can be pretty stoic about it, but not really," Pierson told Bloomberg. "It's painful to leave as the agency is reeling from a significant security breach.

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t have an opportunity to implement structural and operational changes in the agency,” said Pierson, who served in the Secret Service for 30 years, but only 18 months as director.

“I had a vision for the future. It’s 31 years of service and a firm understanding of the organization."

Johnson named Joseph Clancy, a former Secret Service agent in charge of security for Comcast, as interim acting director of the organization.

This story was updated at 5:11 p.m.