An intruder reportedly walked into the Washington home of President Joe Biden‘s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, bypassing his “around-the-clock” Secret Service detail one night in late April.
In the incident that is now under Secret Service investigation, an unidentified man appeared to be intoxicated and confused when Sullivan confronted him at around 3 a.m., government officials briefed on the matter told The Washington Post.
Agents stationed outside only learned of what happened when the intruder had disappeared and Sullivan exited the home to tell them what had happened, the sources said.
The report, published on Tuesday, said there were no signs of forced entry and no evidence that the intruder knew or meant to harm Sullivan. The report also noted that the Secret Service said it had begun an investigation into the intrusion and implemented more security layers around the home while the inquiry takes place.
“While the protectee was unharmed, we are taking this matter seriously and have opened a comprehensive mission assurance investigation to review all facets of what occurred,” Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement. “Any deviation from our protective protocols is unacceptable and if discovered, personnel will be held accountable.”
National security advisers began to receive full-time Secret Service protective details after the FBI uncovered an alleged 2021 Iranian plot to kill former national security adviser John Bolton, sources told the news outlet. An Iranian national was charged in connection to that fiasco in 2022.
Sullivan has served as national security adviser since the beginning of Biden’s presidency. Before that, he served roles in the Obama administration and later became an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
The report said Sullivan lives with his wife, Margaret Goodlander, who works in the Justice Department.
Though The Washington Post noted that the White House declined to comment, it did report that the incident “sparked alarm” among a small group of White House and national security officials.
“The real big alarm bell is the Secret Service was not aware that a person basically walked right into his house in the middle of the night,” Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig said during an appearance on MSNBC.