The incident happened just before midnight while President Donald Trump was at the White House. The suspect, who had a California driver’s license, told Secret Service officers that he was there to see the president.
“No, I am a friend of the President. I have an appointment,” the suspect said when approached by an officer, according to a report released Saturday by the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department.
Asked how he got there, the suspect told officers: “I jumped the fence.”
The report said White House security footage later showed the intruder jumping the face at the northwest courtyard of the Treasury Building, which is adjacent to the White House. He was not detected, however, until approached by a uniformed Secret Service officer.
The White House was placed under security condition “orange,” one of the highest levels of security for the Secret Service, an agency source said..
The President was spending the weekend in Washington and was alerted to the incident late Friday night, an administration official said.
A Secret Service source said the backpack carried by the intruder was x-rayed before bomb technicians removed it from the White House grounds for further evaluation. The backpack was found to be free of any hazardous materials, the Secret Service said in its statement.
A special Secret Service intelligence team interviewed the suspect, who was taken into custody by Washington DC police. The suspect has no criminal history and no previous history involving the Secret Service, that agency said.
A Secret Service emergency response team searched the entire White House grounds with K-9 dogs, including the first lady’s garden which is near the south entrance of the residence. Extensive searches were also conducted on East Executive Avenue and East Wing roadway.
There have been numerous instances of people trespassing on the White House grounds over the last several years.