President Donald Trump was escorted from his daily coronavirus news briefing at the White House on Monday, later saying a shooting had occurred just outside the White House.
Just as the president was delivering his opening remarks to his usual briefing, a Secret Service agent approached the president and told him to leave the briefing room. Trump unhurriedly followed the agent out, and the White House quickly shut down its live stream of the briefing.
Just a few minutes later, Trump returned to the briefing room, saying there had been a shooting outside the White House. The president said the Secret Service shot someone who was then taken to a hospital. Trump didn’t have any details on the shooting except that the person was armed.
“There was a shooting outside of the White House and it seems to be very well under control,” he said. “I’d like to thank the Secret Service for doing their always quick and very effective work.”
Trump said he was taken to the Oval Office and that he had high confidence in the Secret Service. He appeared unfazed on returning to the briefing room and said he wasn’t perturbed by the episode.
“Do I look rattled?” Trump replied to a reporter’s question.
Ever since protests started springing up in front of the White House earlier this summer, Secret Service agents have constructed heavy barriers around the White House grounds. The building, which is normally easily within view from multiple points open to the public, is now surrounded by layers of fencing and walls.
When asked whether he felt concerned that someone could engage in a gunfight so close to the White House in spite of the barriers, Trump said the episode was “relatively far away“ and dismissed the notion that the person had breached anything.
The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment.