Donald Trump’s last-minute press conference at the White House was interrupted by a shooting in nearby Lafayette Park on August 10.
The press conference was scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time. Two minutes after the president took the podium at the White House briefing room at about 5:47 p.m., he received information from a member of his security team and abruptly left with no explanation.
The White House was subsequently put on lockdown.
TRUMP EVACUATED from White House press briefing room by US Secret Service. An agent locked the briefing room doors from the exterior. pic.twitter.com/El9Xi4lAlE
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) August 10, 2020
Bloomberg’s White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs tweeted, “TRUMP EVACUATED from White House press briefing room by US Secret Service. An agent locked the briefing room doors from the exterior.”
BREAKING: we’ve just been locked in the briefing room and Secret Service moves POTUS back into West Wing. We’re on lockdown pic.twitter.com/uzq8vgSN5F
— Christian Datoc (@TocRadio) August 10, 2020
A few minutes after leaving the press conference room, Trump returned and announced that there was a shooting and that the armed suspect had been shot by Secret Service and was being transported to the hospital, CBS News White House correspondent Weijia Jiang tweeted.
Sounded like a gun shot right outside the White House. Secret service making press clear the lawn. Law enforcement holding guns everywhere. pic.twitter.com/KQx6HWcKij
— @skylerhenry (@SkylerHenry) August 10, 2020
“There was a shooting outside of the White House and it seems to be very well under control,” Trump said. He did not answer whether it was a male or female suspect but said no one else was injured during the incident.
The Secret Service can confirm there has been an officer involved shooting at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. Law enforcement officials are on the scene. More information to follow.
— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) August 10, 2020
NBC News White House reporter Geoff Bennett tweeted, “A law enforcement official says a Secret Service officer fired at a person in Lafayette Park near 17th Street. Officer not injured. Unclear why the person was shot. Law enforcement officials say one man was shot in the chest and has been taken to George Washington University hospital and is conscious. Unclear what the threat was.”
The U.S. Secret Service also confirmed the incident on Twitter.
Video of the Suspect’s Arrest Was Shared on Twitter
— Baruch Sandhaus (@BaruchSandhaus) August 10, 2020
Video of police arrested the alleged suspect outside the White House was shared on Twitter soon after Trump returned to the briefing. Trump didn’t seem concerned by the sudden interruption.
“It might not have had to do with me. It might be something else,” Trump said of the shooting, “which took place right outside the White House. The new fencing they put up is very powerful. But it was on the outside of the White House. In a little while, the Secret Service will have a full report.”
One reporter asked Trump if he was “rattled” by the incident.
“Do I appear rattled?” Trump asked, before reiterating that he would like to continue with his press conference. He said, “The world has always been a dangerous place. It’s not something that is unique. You look back over the centuries, the world has been a dangerous place, very dangerous place, and it will continue, I guess, for a period of time.”
Even though reporters had numerous questions about his safety and the shooting he had just described, Trump continued to speak about the economy, mail-in voting and coronavirus.
Trump Thanked the Secret Service for Keeping Him Safe
REPORTER: “Are you rattled by this at all?”
TRUMP: “Do I seem rattled?” pic.twitter.com/oFDcinLKrU
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) August 10, 2020
After expressing his desire to continue the press conference, Trump said, “I do want to thank Secret Service. They are fantastic. The job they do.”
When a reporter asked Trump if this made his feel differently about his safety within the White House, Trump said no. “I feel very safe with the Secret Service. They are fantastic people. They are the best of the best. They’re highly trained.”
“I don’t know if anyone got to walk outside,” Trump continued, “but there were a lot of terrific looking people ready to go if something was necessary.”