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Dem sees ‘blatant disregard for the truth’ at Secret Service

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) said late Wednesday that there is a “blatant disregard for the truth” at the Secret Service, pointing to a lack of transparency about a string of recent scandals. 

Lynch, a member of the Oversight Committee, said on MSNBC that Director Julia Pierson did not disclose during a closed-door hearing before the Oversight Committee on Tuesday that an armed felon was allowed into an elevator with President Obama.

{mosads}Pierson resigned on Wednesday. The White House said on Wednesday that Pierson only informed officials of the elevator incident shortly before it was disclosed in media reports this week.  

Lynch argued there were several other instances in which the Secret Service was not forthcoming, citing a press release that did not reveal how far a fence jumper got inside the White House. 

“The director issued a statement to the press and to Congress that they had stopped the intruder at the north portico when, in fact, the intruder ran through several of the rooms and, you know, and had a deep breach of the White House mansion,” Lynch said. “There are just countless instances where the information that we got from Secret Service was false.”

Lynch said the secrecy goes beyond the Secret Service.

“With most of our intelligence and security operations, there is sort of a mind set of opacity, lack of transparency,” he said. “It’s very difficult as a member of the Oversight Committee to get answers. Often we have to resort to subpoenas.”

He said that the problem at the Secret Service is worse, though.

“There is a culture there that is even beyond the pale here, where not only is there incompetence in providing that protection, as you mention, but there’s also a blatant disregard for the truth and for sharing information that could be very, very important in addressing the larger security issue,” he said.

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