President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests some states may 'pay nothing' as part of unemployment plan Trump denies White House asked about adding him to Mount Rushmore Trump, US face pivotal UN vote on Iran MORE on Monday was abruptly pulled from a press briefing after a shooting outside the White House.
Trump departed after a Secret Service agent appeared to speak to him at the podium. Another agent outside the room locked the doors. Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinWhite House officials, Democrats spar over legality, substance of executive orders Sunday shows - Trump coronavirus executive orders reverberate Pelosi: 'Of course there's room for compromise' on 0-per-week unemployment benefit MORE and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russ Vought were also in attendance for the briefing and shuffled out behind Trump.
The president returned to the podium roughly 10 minutes later. He said there had been a shooting outside the White House involving law enforcement. The suspect was armed, Trump said, but he had few additional details.
#BREAKING: President Trump abruptly leaves press conference mid-sentence after an aide gets his attention. The President offers no explanation as he leaves. pic.twitter.com/DQTb69l3gb— The Hill (@thehill) August 10, 2020
"I do want to thank Secret Service," Trump said. "They are fantastic."
Trump said he was not taken to the protective bunker for the incident.
"They just wanted me to step aside just to make sure everything was cleared outside," he said.
A chaotic scene unfolded in the moments after Trump was pulled from the briefing. Armed Secret Service officers were seen stationed on the North Lawn of the White House as reporters inside the building scrambled to learn the cause of the lockdown.
The incident was not the first time agents felt Trump's safety was threatened, but it was by far the most visible as the briefing was being broadcast live on cable news networks.
Trump was taken to the secure bunker in late May amid violent protests just outside the White House in response to the killing of George Floyd. Secret Service has previously apprehended trespassers who jumped the fence surrounding the White House.
Access to the White House complex has been more restricted amid the coronavirus pandemic and in the aftermath of the protests against racial injustice. Additional fencing has been in place near the White House and nearby Lafayette Park dating back to early June.
After fielding several questions about the incident outside the White House, Trump returned to his scripted remarks on the nation's economic response to the coronavirus pandemic.
"As I was telling you," Trump said, launching into positive figures about the Dow Jones.