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Secret Service director: Security plan not ‘executed properly’

A security perimeter has been installed in front of the White House on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)
A security perimeter has been installed in front of the White House on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT) MCT

Secret Service Director Julia Pierson said Tuesday she takes “full responsibility” for an armed intruder gaining access to the White House after jumping the fence -- and pledged it won’t be repeated.

“It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly,” Secret Service Director Julia Pierson said in opening remarks to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “I take full responsibility; what happened is unacceptable and it will never happen again.”

Pierson‘s testimony came as lawmakers began looking into how Omar Gonzalez, 42, gained entry to the White House on Sept. 19 after hopping the fence.

Lawmakers told Pierson they’re troubled by a pattern of mishaps by the agency that was once considered elite. Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., noted that agents depend on more than their skills.

“They also rely on the good faith belief by most people that they shouldn't even try, that this is the hardest target on Earth,” Issa said of the White House.

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