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White House intruder said 'I am a friend of the President'
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White House intruder said 'I am a friend of the President'

12.03.2017 From our online archive
The man suspected of entering the White House grounds while US President Donald Trump was there said "no, I am a friend of the President. I have an appointment," according to reports.

(AFP) - An intruder who entered the White House grounds while President Donald Trump was there said he was a "friend of the President" and had an appointment, it has been reported.

After scaling a perimeter fence at the Washington executive residence just before midnight on Friday the suspect, who is said to have been carrying a backpack, was arrested by uniformed secret service officers.

The suspect was identified in court records as Jonathan Tran, 26, of California, CNN reported.

When approached by an officer, Tran said "No, I am a friend of the President. I have an appointment," CNN said, quoting a report released Saturday by the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.

Police department officials could not be reached for comment.

When asked how he got onto the White House grounds, Tran said, "I jumped the fence."

Donald Trump has praised the Secret Service for a "fantastic job" following their late-night arrest and said to reporters at his Virginia golf club: "Secret Service did a fantastic job last night" adding that the intruder "was a troubled person."

Authorities did not find dangerous materials inside the backpack following a screening. The grounds of the presidential complex were also deemed safe.

Trump, who is spending the weekend in the nation's capital, was in the White House at the time of the intrusion. He was apprised of the situation, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

John Kelly, head of the US Department of Homeland Security, was briefed on the security breach.

The White House has seen a string of high-profile trespassing incidents in recent years.