WH 'confident' in security review

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson briefed President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaThose on the front lines of climate change should be empowered to be central to its solution The Memo: Trump's justices look set to restrict abortion Minorities and women are leading the red wave MORE Thursday night on the ongoing review into the White House intrusion incident that occurred last week.

The agency has "been making progress on that review," but the White House had no additional details on when it would be finished, press secretary Josh Earnest said.


Already, the agency has erected a temporary fence around the White House that prevents the public from accessing the sidewalk that rings around the compound. As part of the review, the agency will examine permanently extending the perimeter outside the compound, as well as possibly requiring individuals to undergo bag checks before entering the park or streets immediately surrounding the White House.

Earnest would not say whether Obama would ultimately make the decision on whether to extend those measures, but indicated the administration "will grant significant discretion to the law enforcement professionals who are responsible for conducting the review."

The White House spokesman said Obama and the Secret Service were aware of "competing interests" that would go into final decisions, including those of the first family, staff, press and tourists.

Earnest said he was also "confident" that the review would include concerns raised by residents of the District of Columbia.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) on Monday requested a meeting with the Secret Service and warned against further changes that would restrict access around the “people’s house.” 

“It is important to keep Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House and the surrounding area, including Lafayette Park, Pennsylvania Avenue, 17th Street and 15th Street, as accessible to the public as possible,” Norton wrote in a letter to Pierson.

“These are First Amendment protected areas used by the public on a daily basis to both see the residence of the president and engage in their constitutional right to petition the government, and must be kept open for their continued daily use.”

On Sept. 19, a knife-wielding man scaled the White House fence and was able to make it into the executive mansion, triggering the comprehensive review.