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Acting Secret Service Head To Testify In White House Fence Jumper Probe


A man who leaped a fence and walked into the White House cost the Secret Service director her job. Though she's gone, the questions are not, and today, the new leader faces a House committee. Here's NPR's Brian Naylor.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: It's the first time acting Director Joseph Clancy is appearing before lawmakers. Clancy was named the agency's chief after Julia Pierson stepped down, following a contentious appearance before lawmakers in the wake of the fence-jumping incident. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, says he's looking for signs Clancy, a former agent, is making changes.

REPRESENTATIVE BOB GOODLATTE: We're hoping to hear that he is using his past experience and expertise to show leadership in the Secret Service that has clearly been lacking and that he's taking the steps necessary to address the very apparent inadequate training, the poor communication, the lax physical security at the White House that led to this breach.

NAYLOR: A report into the fence-jumping incident released last week found what Goodlatte called a comedy of errors, including a K-9 officer talking on his personal cell phone when Omar Gonzalez crossed the White House grounds untouched.

GOODLATTE: These incidents of late have raised some serious concerns about morale at the agency and about whether they are paying attention to what they're doing.

NAYLOR: Following his public testimony, Clancy will brief committee members behind closed doors. Brian Naylor, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk. In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies.