A convicted felon with a gun was allowed to ride in an elevator with President Obama last month and the Secret Service was not aware that he was carrying a firearm.
Obama visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta on Sept. 16, and an armed security contractor with three convictions for assault and battery was within inches of the president as they rode in an elevator, according to The Washington Post.
“You have a convicted felon within arm’s reach of the president, and they never did a background check,” said U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah. “Words aren’t strong enough for the outrage I feel for the safety of the president and his family.”
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Chaffetz, who heads a House subcommittee that oversees the Secret Service, learned of the breach from a whistleblower, according to the Post.
“His life was in danger,” Chaffetz said. “This country would be a different world today if he had pulled out his gun.”
Obama was not told of the incident, nor was it referred to an investigative unit, according to sources. The Post reported:
The Secret Service director, Julia Pierson, asked a top agency manager to look into the matter but did not refer it to an investigative unit that was created to review violations of protocol and standards, according to two people familiar with the handling of the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The Post said the security contractor “acted oddly” and ignored Secret Service when they asked him to stop recording the president with a cellphone while in the elevator.
Agents questioned the man when the elevator doors opened and the president exited, realizing that he had a criminal background after running him through a national database.
They still had no idea he was armed until “the contractor agreed to turn over his gun — surprising agents, who had not realized that he was armed during his encounter with Obama,” the newspaper reported.
The White House declined to comment to the Post on the incident or say when, or if, the president had been informed of it.
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