Donald Trump abruptly leaves presser after shooting outside White House
As he was addressing the media on coronavirus situation in the United States on Monday, President Donald Trump exited the White House Briefing Room after a shooting was reported. He was led by a Secret Service Agent and left the room without specifying much. Trump returned a few minutes later to confirm that a shooting happened and appreciated Secret Service for their work.
Trump was talking about how the stock markets would be "breaking records soon," when an official, part of his security detail, whispered to him, "We have shots fired outside." The President is believed to have asked what was happening at the moment before leaving the room. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Budget Director Russell T. Vought quietly left the room as well.
While Trump was away, the reporters were placed under a lockdown of sorts. One Fox News correspondent spoke about hearing two shots being fired. After the President returned to the podium nearly 10 minutes later, he told reporters, "There was an actual shooting and somebody's been taken to the hospital." He confirmed that shots were fired by law enforcement agents.
Trump told mediapersons that the incident happened outside the White House perimeter and could not have anything to do with him. "I don't believe anything was breached, they were relatively far away," Trump said. He also said the new fencing, which turned White House into a fortress, was "powerful." He said one person was taken to hospital but he didn't comment on his condition.
When asked if he was rattled, Trump posed a counter-question — "Do I seem rattled?" adding that he was merely taken to the Oval Office. "It's unfortunate that this is the world, but the world has always been a dangerous place. It's not something that's unique," he went on. Trump also revealed he wasn't even considering not returning to the press meet.
Trump also praised the Secret Service calling them fantastic people and the "best of the best." "I feel very safe with the Secret Service. A lot of terrific looking people ready to go if something was necessary," he added. Later, the Secret Service tweeted that an investigation into the shooting is underway. A "male subject" and an agent were taken to the hospital.
In another tweet, the Secret Service revealed the suspect was a 51-year-old man, who approached an officer saying that he had a weapon. "The suspect then turned around, ran aggressively towards the officer, and in a drawing motion, withdrew an object from his clothing," the tweet read. The suspect was shot in the torso. Secret Service said the White House complex was not breached.
Statement from U.S. Secret Service on officer involved shooting: pic.twitter.com/vMP9ypuNh5— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) August 11, 2020
Earlier this year, when George Floyd's death pushed US to a brink, the White House was attacked as well. Protesters raised slogans and threw bricks, forcing the Secret Service to take Trump and his family to an underground bunker. Presidents are usually taken to these bunkers during terror attacks. Downplaying this development, Trump later said he was there for a "tiny period of time."