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article imageTrump hails Secret Service for White House intruder arrest

By AFP     Mar 11, 2017 in World

US President Donald Trump on Saturday praised the US Secret Service for a "fantastic job" following their late-night arrest of an intruder who breached the White House grounds while the president was there.

After scaling an outer perimeter fence at the Washington executive residence just before midnight on Friday, the suspect was arrested by uniformed secret service officers, officials at the agency told AFP.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday at his Virginia golf club, Trump said the "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 told journalists Saturday.

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.

In one notable 2014 incident, while Barack Obama was president, a disturbed Army veteran jumped the White House fence, sprinted across the lawn and entered the building with a knife in his pocket.

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