Barack Obama

An armed private security agent was allowed on an elevator with President Barack Obama earlier this month in Atlanta, a Secret Service official said on Tuesday, in another case involving a security failure for the embattled agency.

The incident occurred while Mr. Obama was visiting the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta on September 16, three days before a man with a knife jumped the White House fence in Washington and ran into the executive mansion.

In the Atlanta incident, a security contractor with the CDC was operating the elevator carrying Mr. Obama and his Secret Service detail.

The man began taking pictures and video of Mr. Obama on his phone, prompting the Secret Service to take him aside for questioning after they left the elevator, the agency official said.

It was not until his supervisor appeared and asked for his gun that the Secret Service realise he was armed, the official said. Under agency rules, people with access to the President need special clearance to carry guns.

The Washington Post reported that a background check also showed the man had three previous convictions for assault and battery.

As a result of the last series of scandals the head of the Secret Service resigns.

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