The White House intruder who entered the president’s residence Friday had two cans of mace on him and told Secret Service he was a friend of Donald Trump, authorities have said.
Jonathan Tuan-Anh Tran, 26, of Milpitas, California, has been identified as the suspect in the incident and made his first court appearance on Saturday, ABC News reported. He is accused of entering or remaining in restricted grounds while using or carrying a dangerous weapon.
Secret Service previously reported seeing an individual scaling a fence at 11.38pm Friday night while Donald Trump was in the White House.
A judged deemed Tan a flight and safety risk and ordered him held until Monday, when he is due to appear for the second time in DC court.
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Jonathan Tuan-Anh Tran, 26, of Milpitas, California, is accused of jumping a fence near the White House Friday night before being stopped near the South Portico (pictured Saturday)
In addition to the two cans of mace, one of which was in his jacket pocket, Tran was carrying a US passport, an Apple laptop, a book written by Trump, and a letter to the president, the report states.
In the letter, ‘Tran mentioned Russian hackers and said he had information of relevance. Tran alleged that he had been followed, and his “phone and email communications (had been) read by third parties,” and that he had “been called schizophrenic,” ‘ Secret Service officer Wayne Azevedo said in the complaint.
Tran’s 19-year-old brother told CNN the suspect had been fired from his job at an electrical engineering company and was ‘troubled’.
He was living in his car, the sibling added, before calling Tran a ‘very good brother’.
The suspect was seen ‘walking from the east side of the south grounds of the White House Complex,’ then ‘walking close to the exterior wall of the White House Mansion … approaching the South Portico Entrance to the White House Mansion,’ the arrest affidavit states according to ABC News.
Security footage shows Tran jumping a fence near the Treasury Building, which adjoins the White House, the complaint says.
Tran at one point can be seen hiding ‘behind a White House pillar before proceeding to the South Portico Entrance,’ according to the document.
The suspect then saw a Secret Service officer in uniform and went towards the South Lawn, the affidavit reads.
That is when the officer stopped him, after which Tran said: ‘I am a friend of the President. I have an appointment,’ the complaint states.
When asked how he managed to get here, Tran replied: ‘I jumped the fence,’ authorities said.
Tran was seen walking from the south grounds of the White House, then jumping a fence and approaching the South Portico entrance, according to the arrest affidavit
President Donald Trump was inside the White House at the time of the incident and has since commended the Secret Service for its ‘fantastic job’
President Trump on Saturday commended the Secret Service for its ‘fantastic job’.
‘It was a troubled person,’ he said about the intruder, whom authorities later identified as Tran. ‘It was very sad.’
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters the agents did a ‘phenomenal job’ protecting the first family and said ‘the president was very appreciative of their efforts.’
The White House was put under a code ‘orange’ which is the highest levels of security for the Secret Service, the network reported.
Agents previously said the president was not in danger, and the Secret Service initially reported that the backpack didn’t contain anything dangerous.
‘Nothing of concern to security operations was found,’ the Secret Service said.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was briefed on the incident, according to White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
In 2015, a man named Joseph Caputo was arrested after jumping over a White House fence while the Obamas were celebrating Thanksgiving.
The White House also faced a security breach in 2014 when a man named Omar Gonzalez, 42, jumped a fence and ran through the North Portico doors with a folding knife.