Secret Service director Pierson steps down amid controversy

United States Secret Service director Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday afternoon following a series of security breaches revealed by the media this week.

United States Secret Service director Julia Pierson resigned Wednesday afternoon following a series of security breaches revealed by the media this week.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson named Joseph Clancy to fill Pierson’s now-former role in the interim, according to The Washington Post. Clancy retired in 2011 and formerly led the presidential protective division.   

Pierson confirmed details in media reports about security breaches over the past few weeks at a Committee on Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Tuesday, which included an intruder making his way past an unlocked door to the East Room of the White House before being subdued by an off-duty agent. She also said the Secret Service did not know shots were fired on the White House in November 2011 until three to four days after the incident.

Later on Tuesday afternoon, the Post published another exclusive report that President Barack Obama had recently been on an elevator with a security contractor who had prior convictions and was holding a gun at the time he was standing close to the president.

Appointed director in March 2013, Pierson spent more than three decades with the Secret Service, according to her biography on the agency’s website.

The resignation caused a ripple on Twitter, with ‘Julia Pierson’ quickly becoming the top trending topic in the US within an hour.

Here are some initial reactions on Twitter:

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