Transcript for Secret Service Director on Protecting the President
Joining you from a region where the threat of Isis is ever present. Back home, the biggest danger posed by the terror group remains its ability to inspire lone wolves. As we saw this week with the arrests of three men accused of wanting to wage jihad and fantasizing about executing president Obama. This morning, senior justice correspondent Pierre Thomas brings us an ABC news exclusive with the man charged with doing whatever it takes to protect the first family. Reporter: Three Brooklyn men this week accused of supporting Isis, with one allegedly willing to assassinate the president. This is real. This is the concern about the lone wolf. We have always been concerned about the lone wolves. Regardless of the organization they may be attached to. We have to set up a plan that addresses all those what IFS. Reporter: The what IFS have the secret service training day and night. Make no mistake, this is deadly serious business. But the secret service's ability to protect the president has been called into question after a series of embarrassing and public failures. Soliciting prostitutes in Columbia. Agents drunk in Amsterdam. Perhaps most damning of all this man jumping the fence at the nation's most famous address, making his way deep inside the white house. I think when you fail, and we have failed. We own it. Now it's up to us to correct it. There's no excuses. Reporter: We met with the man picked by Mr. Obama to fix what's wrong with the secret service. And repair its image. Joseph Clancy, a retired secret service veteran called back to duty. As for those failures -- There is anger. But then there's a thought of, how do you fix this? How did it go wrong? How do we fix it? Reporter: The white house fence jumper. That's a preparation issue. That had to hit you right in the gut. Yes. Absolutely. But that particular day, we had a con Ver Jens of failures. Reporter: What about the sordid stories? It was a lack of discipline. I think a individual lack of discipline. We have to do a better job of mentoring, coaching, teaching, training our people that that is unacceptable. And to the critics in congress who say they wanted an outsider, what say you? I'm going to earn their trust. I take things day by day, minute by minute. We need to earn their trust. Reporter: He admits the failures were devastating. He doesn't believe they reflect the people of his agency. I would not have come back if I didn't believe in the men and women of the secret service. We all want to fix this. And they're working diligently to try to get this thing back on track. Reporter: We were there as a new class of secret service officering were being sworn in Friday. Clancy was on message. Now it's for real. Now you have to be on your game all the time. Reporter: The agency's attempt to improve its image comes at a pressurized moment in Washington. With congress threatening to block funding for the department of homeland security, which including the secret service. The president, the first family, the white house, they're going to be secure. We're going to complete our mission. Reporter: And all this partisan bickering comes as the secret service faces new threats. Recently, a drone penetrated the white house perimeter. And I personally breefd the president on the events of that day. He had very specific questions. He was very concerned. As he should be. Technology changes. We're working with private industry as well. Those that are producing these drones. It's a global issue. Reporter: As for the fence. The fence should go higher. We're trying to create time and distance so our people can react. Reporter: He says the fence will look different. We have had our technical people testing raising the fence, putting additional features on top of the fence. We expect it to be in place in the near future. Reporter: His message to any would-be fence jumpers. I would have them look at the film on October 22nd when the canines were released. Reporter: This dog at training Friday seemed to want to send a message, too. The president! Take the dog off. I wouldn't suggest it. Reporter: For "This week," Pierre Thomas, ABC news, Washington.
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