WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House briefing room was evacuated Tuesday amid security concerns.
Secret Service officers interrupted a live, televised press briefing with White House press secretary Josh Earnest and evacuated the James S. Brady Briefing Room shortly after 2 p.m. The officers would not say what prompted the evacuation, and the White House had no immediate information about the incident.
Reporters were escorted to a driveway separating the West Wing from the neighboring office building. They were relocated minutes later to a holding space in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where the vice president has his office.
Although journalists were required to leave the West Wing, it appeared that many White House officials were still inside and that the entire building had not been evacuated.
The Secret Service did not immediately respond to inquiries about the security incident.
Although parts of the White House have been evacuated before, including after a fence-jumper made it inside the White House last year, this was the first time that an evacuation occurred during a televised press briefing.
Many television networks have permanent cameras installed in the briefing room. Journalists from some of those networks said that following the evacuation, the cameras were pointed up to the ceiling such that the briefing room was no longer visible.