Omar Gonzalez, the man apprehended while darting through the White House, had been living for weeks at the president’s residence, according to several whistleblowers.
The sources say Gonzalez, 42, spent most of July camping on the north lawn of the famous executive mansion, telling guards he was President Obama’s golf friend who recently had become homeless. By July 30, Gonzalez had inched close enough to the entrance to slip in undetected, as the intruder alarm had been muted at the request of Michelle Obama’s mother, Marian Robinson, who also lives at the White House and is sensitive to loud sounds.
Once inside, Gonzalez, an Iraq war veteran, took the stairs up to the First Family’s living quarters. Upon running into the First Lady’s mother, Gonzalez adopted a falsetto voice, feigned an accent, and introduced himself as Omar Vasquez from Puerto Rico, claiming he was the new White House manicurist. Robinson then introduced him to granddaughters Sasha and Malia, and eventually to President Obama himself.
Gonzalez was given a small storage room in which to set up makeshift salon, and after several weeks, according to unnamed leakers who fear official retribution, he came to be known as “Cousin Omar” and was taking care of the hands and feet of all the women in the White House, and some men, too, including President Obama himself, who is rumored to have large corns that require daily care.
Press secretary Josh Earnest was quick to deny the allegations, saying Gonzalez was inside the White House for “a few minutes, or a day at most,” pointing out that security has been tight ever since 2009, when a lost Japanese tourist was found in the Oval Office, smoking a cigarette and frantically texting his wife to send help.
“At no time was President Obama or the First Lady in any real danger, and even if the suspect was inside the White House, Secret Service agents were totally monitoring the guy,” Earnest said. “Had Mr. Gonzalez tried anything funny or rash, an agent would have quickly torn his arm from its socket.”
However, official White House activity logs show that Gonzalez developed a close relationship with the Obamas, who even allowed him to sleep near the foot of their bed one stormy night after he complained of having nightmares about the end of the world. One source says Gonzalez also became well-known to the cooking staff, as he often ordered bizarre items like “pickled head of pigeon” and “boiled sheep eyes” — dishes that, in retrospect, should have sounded the alarm. Even worse was that by mid-September, Gonzalez had convinced staff he was the reincarnation of Rasputin, the infamous advisor to Russia’s Romanov family.
The ruse fell apart when a visiting head of state’s security detail demanded to know the identity of the unbathed nude fellow was who badgering everyone for spare change, and White House staff were unable to provide a full name. That’s when Gonzalez tried to flee to his closet salon, prompting Secret Service agents to give chase.
“They totally dropped the ball on this one,” said former White House Secretary Jay Carney. “Everyone knew about Cousin Omar and his apocalyptic visions, and everyone liked him, so why all the secrecy? Just tell the truth, and people will be cool with it.”
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, whose office is in charge of personal security for President Obama and his family, said the incident is unacceptable but “not entirely surprising” given remarks Obama made in 2012 when he said, “I don’t lock the door to my house, so drop in anytime and tell me about how the atmosphere is collapsing and the end is nigh.”