Pair of threats close parts of White House, Congress hearing; all-clear given
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.
The Secret Service said a bomb threat had been called in 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 in the Dirksen Senate office building.
Earnest said President Barack Obama, who was in the White House at the time, was not moved during the evacuation.
The Senate building was later given the all-clear and there’s no sign of whether the two events were connected. Reporters were allowed back into the White House briefing room roughly a half hour after the evacuation began.
The TSA hearing was called by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in response to a report that was leaked revealing significant flaws in the agency’s terror-vetting process. According to a CNN report, cracks in the system included TSA failing to identify 73 active workers who had links to terrorism.