Washington: US President Barack Obama faces the same level of threat as that of his two predecessors, George W Bush and Bill Clinton, a senior Secret Service official has said.
"The threats (to Obama) right now and inappropriate interest that we are seeing is the same level as it has been for the previous two presidents at this point," the Secret
Service Director Mark Sullivan said in response to a question at a Congressional hearing.
The US Secret Service is responsible for the protection of the first family of the United States.
"They are not," Sullivan said when Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton asked him if the threats to Obama were higher or not, during a hearing by House Committee on Homeland Security on the security breach in the White House last week.
Norton termed "as very comforting news," when Sullivan dismissed published reports that the level of death threat against Obama was four time higher than that of his predecessors.
"I have heard a number out there that the threat is up by 400 percent. I'm not sure where that number (came from). It's not [a] 400 percent [increase]," Sullivan reiterated when Norton said that the Secret Service needed additional agents to protect the first African-American President.
"It is well-known and in the press over and over again that this President has received far more death threats than any President in the history of the United States – an alarming number of death threats," she said.
"I am not going to ask you for the details on that, but here we had the first State Dinner not of just any old president but of the first African- American President.”
"Was there any attempt to increase security given all you know, which is much more than we know, about threats to this President of the United States?" Norton asked.
First Published: Friday, December 04, 2009, 09:37