Washington: A series of security threats closed portions of the White House and Capitol Hill on Tuesday.In the middle of White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest’s daily briefing, officials told all reporters to evacuate the briefing room. The North Lawn of the White House was also cleared following a bomb scare on Tuesday night (IST).
The Secret Service said a bomb threat had been called in at 1:53 p.m. to the DC Metropolitan Police Department targeting the briefing room specifically. The evacuation at the White House came just hours after U.S. Capitol Police received a bomb threat that forced the evacuation of a hearing on the TSA in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
Secret Service officers covered up the press cameras in the briefing room during the evacuation to protect methods and practices used by the agency to investigate bomb threats, a U.S. official said early Tuesday evening.
A Senate aide who was briefed by police confirmed that the first bomb threat was made targeting a specific location, which is what caused the USCP to take the threat more seriously. The aide said the caller described a device that had been placed in the Homeland Security Committee offices on the third floor of the Dirksen building. Authorities say it is still unclear if this call was related to the evacuation that occurred later in the afternoon at the White House.