Secret Service Director Julia Pierson acknowledged the agency charged with protecting Obama had failed on Sept. 19 when it allowed a man to jump the fence at the home of the president, burst through the front door and run about 130 feet (40 meters) into the East Room, which is used for events and receptions.
               
"This is unacceptable and I take full responsibility," Pierson told a U.S. House of Representatives committee.
               
"We are all outraged within the Secret Service at how this incident came to pass. It is self-evident mistakes were made," she said, promising lawmakers that it would never happen again.
               
As a first step, Pierson said the front door of the White House now has an automated lock when there is a security breach. It did not have one at the time of the intrusion.
               
Any disciplinary actions, however, would be based on an internal probe by the agency, Pierson said.
               
The incident was another black mark for the Secret Service, which has suffered a series of scandals including a lone gunman firing shots at the White House in 2011, a prostitution scandal involving agents in Colombia in 2012 and a night of drinking in March that led to three agents being sent home from a presidential trip to Amsterdam. Factbox
               
In another security lapse for the agency, a private security agent who had a gun shared an elevator with Obama in Atlanta on Sept. 16, three days before the White House intrusion, a Secret Service official said.
               
The man, who was operating an elevator carrying Obama and his Secret Service detail during the president's visit to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, aroused suspicion when he began taking pictures and video of Obama on his phone, the official said.
               
During questioning, the man's supervisor asked for his gun, startling Secret Service agents. Under agency rules, people with access to the president need special clearance to carry guns.
               
The Washington Post, which along with the Washington Examiner, first reported the incident, said the man had three convictions for assault and battery.

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