Michelle Obama furious at response to 2011 White House shooting: report

Michelle Obama was furious at the Secret Service's bungled response to a 2011 incident in which the agency took days to realize that a gunman had fired at and hit the White House several times, the Washington Post reports.

According to an in-depth investigation by the paper, it took the Secret Service - which is charged with protecting the president and first family - four days to realize that shots had hit the White House, after wrongly saying that the shots fired the night of Nov. 11, 2011 was an unrelated gang shooting.

When a housekeeper at the first family's residence alerted an assistant White House usher - who then told the Secret Service - about a broken window a chunk of white concrete on the floor of one of the rooms, first lady Michelle Obama was taking a nap after returning from Hawaii, the Post reported. Although then-White House chief of staff William Daley was planning to tell the President Obama and let him tell his wife, the assistant usher, Reginald Dickson happened to tell her first because he believed she already knew.

The Post described the first lady as "aghast - and then quickly furious" that she and the president were not informed sooner, especially because she had been on a flight back from Hawaii with then-Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan. He had already learned that the shooter, Oscar R. Ortega-Hernandez, seemed to be obsessed with the president - although he was not yet connected with the shooting at the White House.

The first lady's anger continued until the president arrived home from Australia five days later. He shared her anger, the Post reported, at the fact that not only had the Secret Service failed to alert the first family right away, but also fumbled its response to the shooting.

"When the president came back . . . then the s--- really hit the fan," said one former aide told the Post.

Sullivan was called for a meeting at the White House, and sources told the paper that Michelle Obama was so angry while speaking to him that her voice could be heard through a closed door. Sullivan denied that, when he spoke with the Post, but would not describe the meeting further.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.