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Homeland security chief 'salutes' Pierson for service

Credit: Reuters

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has paid tribute to outgoing director of the US Secret Service Julia Pierson in a statement.

Today Julia Pierson, the director of the United States Secret Service, offered her resignation, and I accepted it.

I salute her 30 years of distinguished service to the Secret Service and the Nation.

– Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson

Experts to investigate White House security breach

An independent panel of experts will investigate a incident where an intruder managed to climb over a White House fence and enter the building last month, US Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said.

Mr Johnson also named Secret Service veteran Joseph Clancy as Acting Director of the agency following Ms Pierson resignation.

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Director of US Secret Service Julia Pierson resigns

Julia Pierson Credit: Reuters

Julia Pierson has resigned as the director of the US Secret Service, the Department for Home Security has confirmed.

It comes after she faced a committee of US politicians to answer questions over a series of breaches in White House security.

The breaches included an intruder jumping the fence of the White House who was apprehended inside armed with a knife and an incident in 2011 where bullets were fired at the South side of the historic building.

Armed convict was allowed to share lift with Obama

Another incident has come to light for which President Obama's Secret Service protection team is facing criticism.

A private security agent who had a gun shared an elevator with Obama in Atlanta on September 16, three days before the White House intrusion, a Secret Service official said.

Barack Obama pictured at the White House yesterday. Credit: Reuters

The man, who was operating an elevator carrying Obama and his Secret Service detail during the president's visit to the US 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.

US Secret Service has 550 staff below 'optimal level'

The US Secret Service is currently 550 employees below its "optimal level" due to budget cuts, director Julia Pierson has told a House of Representatives committee.

She told the committee of US politicians that she had drafted in other special agents from around the country this summer to allow others to take annual leave.

Six people have jumped the White House fence this year

Six people have jumped the White House fence this year, Secret Service director Julia Pierson has told US politicians.

"The Secret Service has apprehended sixteen individuals who have jumped the fence in the last five years, including six this year alone," Pierson said.

Six people have jumped the White House this year, Julia Pierson said. Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

"In addition to fence jumpers, over the last five years, hundreds of individuals have approached the White House perimeter verbalising threats to our protectees or acting in a suspicious manner."

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