Representative Stephen Lynch (D., Mass.) could scarcely contain his scorn for Secret Service director Julia Pierson’s evasive testimony before the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday, saying “I wish to God you protected the White House like you’re protecting your reputation here today.”
The Massachusetts lawmaker upbraided Pierson for her agency’s inability to stop one man, armed only with a knife, from jumping a fence and penetrating deep into the White House earlier this month. And he found her repeated justifications for the breach inexcusable.
“I’ve listened to your testimony very deliberately here this morning,” he said, “and I wish to God you protected the White House like you’re protecting your reputation here today. I wish you spent that time and that effort to protect the American president, and his family, like I’m hearing people covering for the lapses of the Secret Service on these several occasions. I really do.”
After Lynch’s time expired, Pierson tried to explain that “the United States Secret Service does not take any of these incidents lightly. They are all –”
“With all due respect, that’s my point,” Lynch interrupted angrily. “I don’t think the Secret Service is taking their duty to protect the American president and his family at the White House very seriously. That’s exactly my point.”
“I have very low confidence in the Secret Service under your leadership,” he added. “I have to say that.”