[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/04/art.obamaaf11203.gi.jpg caption= "According to the Secret Service, there have been more threats made against President Obama than there were against former Presidents George W. Bush or Bill Clinton at this stage in their presidencies."]Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama is not facing more threats to his life or security than the previous two presidents, according to the Secret Service.
At a hearing Thursday, Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said "the threats right now in the inappropriate interest that we are seeing is the same level as it has been for the previous two presidents at this point."
Sullivan rejected a figure in a recently published book by Ronald Kessler, "In the President's Secret Service." Kessler says the threat has increased 400 percent since Obama, the nation's first African-American president, took office.
In October, Kessler told CNN he stands by the figure even though a law enforcement source had told CNN it's false.
"There is about 3,000 threats a year under President Bush and now there are about 12,000. Of course, most of them are not credible, but they all have to be checked out," Kessler told CNN's "The Situation Room" in an interview with Wolf Blitzer in October.
He said he got the figure "originally from another agency, but I went over it with the Secret Service."
Sullivan, at a Congressional hearing about how a couple allegedly crashed a state dinner, brought up the 400 percent figure and rejected it, adding that he is "not sure where that number came from."
Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, in an interview with CNN earlier this week, also said he was told the presidential threat level has not gone up under Obama.