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Fake congressman sneaks backstage at Obama event in yet another security breach

Last week brought yet another Secret Service blunder when a man posing as a congressman was able to get backstage during a President Obama speech.

By Gabrielle Levy
"Get it together, Secret Service." UPI/Olivier Douliery/Pool
"Get it together, Secret Service." UPI/Olivier Douliery/Pool | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A man posing as a New Jersey congressman was able to get backstage into a secure area during a President Obama appearance last week.

The security breach is yet another in a series of missteps by the Secret Service that has put the protective agency under a microscope and forced out Director Julia Pierson.

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A White House official told Bloomberg the incident occurred Sept. 27 at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's awards dinner at the Walter E. Washington Convention center. An unidentified man entered the secure backstage area either during or just following Obama's speech, among a crowd of real congressman taking pictures with the president.

The man claimed he was Rep. Donald Payne, Jr., a New Jersey Democrat. Once a staff member determined the man was, in fact, not a member of the United States Congress, he was asked to leave. The official said he left without incident and was not detained.

Brian Leary, a spokesman for the Secret Service, said the agency had done its job by screening everyone at the dinner.

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"This guy went through security, fully screened," he said.

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