President Trump was abruptly removed from a White House press briefing Monday after Secret Service shot a suspect outside the White House. The Secret Service confirmed a male suspect had been shot and taken to a local hospital, and said a Secret Service officer had also been hospitalized.
The Secret Service said in a statement that a 51-year-old man approached a Secret Service officer and said he had a weapon. The man then ran at the officer and crouched down in a “shooter’s stance” after taking something out of his clothing. The suspect was shot in the torso by the officer and both were taken to the hospital.
“At no time during this incident was the White House complex breached or were any protectees in danger,” the Secret Service tweeted.
When he returned to the podium, Mr. Trump said the shooting occurred outside the fencing and that he was taken to the Oval Office. “It might not have had anything to do with me, it might have been something else,” he said.
“Very, very professional people,” he said of the Secret Service.
The shooting took place on 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, the Secret Service said.
Around the White House, law enforcement agents scrambled as it happened, according to CBS News journalists on the ground.
Mr. Trump had been set to discuss his recent economic aid measures that have already been rejected by Democrats and are likely to face challenges in court.
The president on Sunday signed the measures he claimed would halt evictions and expand unemployment benefits, among other things, but there are some hiccups. The executive action designed to halt evictions does nothing to specifically stop evictions. And the expanded unemployment benefits, an extra $400 per week, would only go into effect if states kick in $100.
The president’s effort to defer payroll taxes, which would only put off when those taxes are owed rather than cancel them, has not received a warm reception even from his own party.
Before he took office, Mr. Trump bashed former President Obama for employing executive action to accomplish his agenda while he was president.
“Why is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?” Mr. Trump tweeted in July 2012.
Mr. Trump insists he doesn’t need Congress to appropriate these dollars, although not all in his own party agree. The president lashed out at Republican Senator Ben Sasse for calling his executive actions “unconstitutional slop.”
“RINO Ben Sasse, who needed my support and endorsement in order to get the Republican nomination for Senate from the GREAT State of Nebraska, has, now that he’s got it (Thank you President T), gone rogue, again. This foolishness plays right into the hands of the Radical Left Dems!” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning.