A Man Posing as a Congressman Gets Backstage at a Dinner Keynoted by Obama

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
President Barack Obama arrives onstage with first lady Michelle Obama before speaking at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner in Washington, D.C., Sept. 27, 2014. 
Nicholas Kamm/Getty Images

According to Bloomberg News, an unidentified man pretending to be a U.S. congressman finagled his way backstage at an awards dinner hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation on Saturday. President Barack Obama keynoted the event, which first lady Michelle Obama also attended. The unidentified fake congressman mingled backstage to chat and take pictures with select attendees in a reserved area.

A White House staffer, who preferred to remain anonymous, gave Bloomberg the scoop.


“The man entered the backstage area during or just after Obama’s speech at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center as members of Congress gathered there to have their pictures taken with the president, said the official, who asked for anonymity to discuss the incident, which has not previously been made public,” Bloomberg reported.

The man posed as U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Jr., a Democrat representing New Jersey’s 10th District. According to sources who spoke with Bloomberg, once people realized that the imposter was not Payne, the man was asked to leave without being detained.

“The Secret Service did its job by screening everyone who attended the dinner, including the man,” Brian Leary, a spokesman with the Secret Service, told Bloomberg.

No one knows just how close the man got to President Obama or the first lady, but this man—along with the war veteran who jumped the White House gate in September, the sniper who shot at the residential areas of the White House in 2011 and the armed ex-convict who rode the elevator with the president—reveals crucial blind spots in the Secret Service’s apparatus.


Read more at Bloomberg News.

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