President Donald Trump was escorted out of his daily coronavirus news briefing at the White House on Monday. The reason for this was later explained to be that a shooting had occurred just outside the White House.
A Secret Service agent approached the president, as he was in the process of giving his opening remarks for the briefing and told him to leave the briefing room. Trump followed the agent out, and the shut down its live stream of the briefing happened not long after.
A few minutes later, Trump returned to the briefing room. He explained that there had been a shooting outside the White House, adding that the Secret Service shot someone who was then taken to a hospital. The only detail the president revealed on the shooting was 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 expressed unwavering confidence in the Secret Service. He appeared unaffected when he returned 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 begun springing up in front of the White House earlier this summer, Secret Service agents have built reinforced 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.