'Devastating' Failures Lead Secret Service to Consider Raising White House Fence

Is the White House fence high enough to keep out intruders?

"Without question, the agency has been severely damaged in recent years by failures," dating back to the Cartagena, Colombia, prostitution scandal in 2012, Acting Director Joseph Clancy told a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.

"The range of shortcomings” is “what hits the hardest," he said.

Outside of the hearing room, the man who led that internal review of the breach, DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, called recent scrutiny of the Secret Service “much-warranted."

“We have already started those discussions ... to see if there’s something amenable to all the groups so that we keep the historic nature of the White House but also increase security,” he said.

Within the next few months, Clancy said he expects to review renderings and drawings of proposed physical changes to the White House perimeter.

Still, both Clancy, who took over the Secret Service early last month, and Goodlatte defended the agency as a whole.

"I firmly believe the Secret Service is better than this incident," Clancy testified.

And Mayorkas, in an op-ed published in The Hill newspaper today, similarly praised and defended the broader Secret Service: "The much-warranted attention the ... September 19 fence-jumping incident at the White House is receiving should not overshadow the great work the men and women of the Secret Service perform every day."