Bill Clinton, who lived in the White House for eight years, said he was “surprised” an intruder was able to make it through the doors of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue without being stopped by Secret Service, the former president told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an interview today.
“I’m surprised he got to walk into the White House. I wasn’t surprised he jumped the fence. We had a guy jump the fence when I was there,” Clinton told Stephanopoulos during an interview on the sidelines of the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York City. “Those things are gonna happen. But I was quite surprised that he got in. I still don't know how that happened.”
For more of Stephanopoulos’ interview with former President Clinton, tune into “Good Morning America” tomorrow.
Last Friday, 42 year-old Omar Gonzalez jumped over a White House fence, sprinted across the North Lawn and got into the executive mansion before he was arrested by Secret Service. Gonzalez was carrying a three-and-a-half inch knife at the time of his arrest. President Obama and his daughters had departed the White House just minutes before the intrusion.
President Obama has said he is confident in the Secret Service despite the security breach.
Clinton recounted his own experiences with security breaches at the White House, describing the time a man stole a single-engine plane and crashed it on the South Lawn.
“He bounced a couple times, flipped over the single-engine plane, went above the shrubs and below the magnolia tree and crashed that plane into the base of the White House which is huge, that stone base and killed himself,” Clinton said. “I think he would've been shot down by the snipers on the White House roof except Hillary and Chelsea and I were across the street staying in Blair House 'cause they were rehabbin' the White House.”