Republican lawmaker reveals 'scary' new details about White House fence jumper

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WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters) - A man who scaled the White House fence last week was on the property's grounds for 16 minutes before he was detained, the U.S. Secret Service said in a statement on Friday.

Jonathan Tran, 26, faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for entering the grounds without permission.

He hopped a 5-foot fence near the U.S. Treasury Department, which is located next to the White House, then climbed an 8-foot vehicle gate and a shorter fence near the southeast corner of the East Wing of the White House grounds before he was caught, the Secret Service said.

"The Secret Service can confirm that at no time did the individual gain entry into the White House," the statement said.

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Spikes intended to discourage trespassers top the fence on the north side of the White House in Washington March 17, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
A secret service agent patrols in front of the White House in Washington November 27, 2015. A man who jumped the White House fence on Thursday, triggering a lockdown of the presidential mansion, was quickly caught and now faces criminal charges, the U.S. Secret Service said. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Security fencing is seen at the White House in Washington November 27, 2015. A man who jumped the White House fence on Thursday, triggering a lockdown of the presidential mansion, was quickly caught and now faces criminal charges, the U.S. Secret Service said. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A restricted area sign is seen outside of the White House in Washington November 27, 2015. A man who jumped the White House fence on Thursday, triggering a lockdown of the presidential mansion, was quickly caught and now faces criminal charges, the U.S. Secret Service said. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
A restricted area sign is seen outside of the White House in Washington November 27, 2015. A man who jumped the White House fence on Thursday, triggering a lockdown of the presidential mansion, was quickly caught and now faces criminal charges, the U.S. Secret Service said. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
United States Secret Service personnel and government contractors begin work on the White House perimeter fence at the White House in Washington May 28, 2015. The black iron fence surrounding the White House will be topped with a row of sharp metal points (seen in between original fencing) in July, the U.S. Secret Service said, part of a series of security upgrades for the mansion where the president and his family live. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
The White House is seen covered by snow in Washington February 21, 2015. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENVIRONMENT)
A member of the U.S. Secret Service stands guard in front of the North Lawn of the White House in Washington October 23, 2014. A man arrested after jumping the White House fence on Wednesday night has been charged with three felony counts and four misdemeanors, the U.S. Secret Service said on Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, was unarmed when he was arrested on the White House grounds after facing Secret Service dogs that stopped and attacked him, the Secret Service said. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
Members of the U.S. Secret Service patrol in front of the North Lawn of the White House in Washington October 23, 2014. A man arrested after jumping the White House fence on Wednesday night has been charged with three felony counts and four misdemeanors, the U.S. Secret Service said on Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, was unarmed when he was arrested on the White House grounds after facing Secret Service dogs that stopped and attacked him, the Secret Service said. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)
U.S. Park Police stand along the sidewalk on Pennsylvania Ave. at a new layer of temporary fencing that appeared this week creating a wider buffer along the sidewalk in front of the White House in Washington, September 25, 2014. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT CRIME LAW)
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Tran, from Milpitas, California, set off several alarms after jumping the fence but was able to avoid other sensors before he was discovered just steps from the main building, CNN reported on Friday.

The network also reported that Tran was spotted "looming around" Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue, where the White House is located, nearly six hours before his arrest.

The incident prompted Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House of Representatives oversight committee, to request that Secret Service Acting Director William Callahan provide a briefing on Monday. In a letter to Callahan on Friday, Chaffetz referred to allegations that Tran moved undetected around the grounds "for a considerable amount of time."

"The Committee has longstanding concerns regarding repeated security incidents at USSS-protected facilities," Chaffetz wrote. He noted that a 2015 committee report on the Secret Service found 143 breaches and attempted breaches over a 10-year period.

"The moment somebody jumps over the fence they have to be taken down," Chaffetz later told CNN. "This one scares me probably more than any because of the length of time, the proximity to the president, getting right up close to the White House and going so long without being detected. It makes no sense. I don't know what in the world they're doing but it is a total and complete embarrassment."

President Donald Trump was inside the residence at the time of the security breach late on March 10.

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U.S. Secret Service through the years

Spectators line the sides of Pennsylvania Avenue as U.S. Secret Service agents walk alongside the presidential limousine during the Inaugural Parade for U.S. President Donald J. Trump January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Trump was sworn in today as the 45th president of the United States.

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Members of the Secret Service are pictured before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC. Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday -- capping his improbable journey to the White House and beginning a four-year term that promises to shake up Washington and the world.

(ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division officers pose for a photo with the Budweiser Clydesdale horse outside the debate hall before the second 2016 presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis, October 9, 2016.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

A Secret Service agent stands watch as U.S. President Barack Obama arrives aboard the Marine One helicopter at the Downtown Manhattan Heliport in New York, U.S. June 8, 2016.

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

U.S. Secret Service agents provide security for President Barack Obama and Air Force One in Peroria, Illinois, February 12, 2009.

(REUTERS/Jim Young)

U.S. Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama walks alongside a secret service agent to his car before a campaign rally in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 27, 2008. Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said on Monday.

(REUTERS/Jason Reed)

A U.S. Secret Service agent (C) steps in to intervene after Fox News Channel television talk show host Bill O'Reilly (L) shoved Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Barack Obama's National Trip Director Marvin Nicholson (R) while trying to get to the Senator at the end of a campaign rally in Nashua, New Hampshire, January 5, 2008.

(REUTERS/Jim Bourg)

U.S. President George W. Bush's pet dog, Spot, walks next to the president's U.S. Secret Service security detail after stepping off Marine One in Waco, July 21, 2003. The president and first lady were heading back to Washington on Air Force One after spending a long weekend at their Central Texas ranch outside Crawford.

(REUTERS/Larry Downing)

The new armored presidential limousine, which was debuted as part of the 56th Presidential Inauguration, is parked on display in a garage in the Secret Service headquarters in Washington February 5, 2009.

(REUTERS/Molly Riley)

A Secret Service agent waits for U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha to board Marine One as they depart Yosemite National Park, California, U.S., June 19, 2016.

(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

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(JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

A US Secret Service agent watches as US President George W. Bush arrives in Marine One to the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, 07 July, 2006, after a trip to Illinois.

(PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

A US Secret Service agent keeps an eye on the audience as US President George W. Bush delivers the commencement address at Calvin College 21 May 2005 in the Calvin College Field House in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

(TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The presidential limousine, escorted by Secret Service personnel, moves along Pennsylvania Avenue following the second term inauguration of US President George W. Bush at the US Capitol (BACKGROUND) in Washington, DC.

(DOUG MILLS/AFP/Getty Images)

Secret Service personnel keep apace of the presidential limousine during the Inaugural Parade along Pennsylvania 20 January 2005 in Washington, DC. US President George W. Bush was sworn in for a second term as president of the United States 2 January 2005 under unprecedented security on the steps of the US Capitol.

(PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

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(Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

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Secret Service agents watching Franklin Roosevelt in 1937.

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United States President Lyndon Johnson and members of the secret service exit the Marines 1 Presidential helicopter, 1965.

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E.A. Wildy (left), of the Treasury Secret Service, gives a demonstration of Uncle Sam's latest lie detector, using M.R. Allen, secret service agent in charge of Washington, as his subject, before the United States Secret Service Men's convention here. The device, which looks like a super portable radio, is called the Keeler polygraph. Three long needles record the pulse, heart action and skin reaction of the subject on a graph. If you are not telling the truth, Uncle Sam will find out through this little instrument.

(Bettmann via Getty Images)
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The Secret Service said it was taking additional steps to prevent security lapses.

Tran told federal agents that he was a friend of the president and had an appointment, according to court documents. He was carrying two cans of mace, a U.S. passport, a computer and one of Trump's books, authorities said.

Trump commended the Secret Service for doing a "fantastic job" apprehending Tran.

Tran was released with no bail on Monday and returned to California, where he must submit to GPS monitoring until his next hearing in Washington.

The intrusion was the latest in a series of breaches at the White House in recent years. Security has been boosted, including the installation in 2015 of sharp spikes on top of the black iron fence that circles the 18-acre (7-hectare) property.

(Reporting by Emily Stephenson in Washington and Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Frances Kerry and Richard Chang)

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