White House Briefing Room Evacuated (Updated)
Updated 3:56 p.m. | The White House daily briefing was interrupted and the James S. Brady Briefing Room was briefly evacuated Tuesday by the Secret Service because of a bomb threat.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who was answering a question about cybersecurity, was interrupted by an officer who could be heard saying, “We need to evacuate the press room.”
“Jesus,” one reporter exclaimed.
Earnest calmly left the podium.
“We’ll come back,” he said.
Reporters were briefly herded out of the White House shortly after 2 p.m. and across the street to the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and were holding in the South Court Auditorium while bomb-sniffing dogs searched the briefing room.
A little over twenty minutes later, an “all clear” was reported at the White House and reporters returned to the briefing room.
The briefing resumed a little after 2:45 p.m. with Earnest announcing the bomb threat.
“This is a decision made by Secret Service based on information they received,” he said.
Other parts of the White House were not evacuated.
The Secret Service said the bomb threat was initially called into the Metropolitan Police Department at 1:53 p.m. and was limited to the briefing room.
President Barack Obama remained in the White House complex, Earnest said, but was not in any danger that Earnest was aware of. No bomb was found.
Earnest later clarified that Obama remained in the Oval Office, while First Lady Michelle Obama, Sasha and Malia remained in the residence and were not evacuated.
The briefing room evacuation came just a couple of hours after a bomb threat caused the partial evacuation of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.