Secret Service responds to reports that reporters were ordered to leave White House while protests took place nearby, says '4 members of the media were misdirected by the Secret Service' to leave.

cdavis@insider.com (Charles Davis)
·3 min read
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WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 22: U.S. Park Police keeps protesters away after they attempted to pull down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square near the White House on June 22, 2020 in Washington, DC. Protests continue around the country over the deaths of African Americans while in police custody.

Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

  • The US Secret Service asked reporters to leave the White House on Monday night, CNN reported.

  • CNN's Kaitlan Collins said that no reason was provided.

  • "It's actually incredibly unusual," she said.

  • The Secret Service gave a statement to Yahoo News' Hunter Walker, saying that "four members of the media were misdirected by the Secret Service to leave the White House grounds. The members of the press were rerouted to exits on the south side of the complex for their own safety."

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Reporters were asked to leave the grounds of the White House on Monday night after police earlier pushed back protesters at nearby Lafayette Square, CNN reported.

The US Secret Service did not give journalists a reason for the request, according to CNN's Kaitlan Collins.

"It's actually incredibly unusual," she told CNN host Anderson Cooper. "That is so rare," Collins continued, adding that "I don't think that's ever happened" since she began covering the White House.

The Secret Service gave a statement to Yahoo News' Hunter Walker, saying that "four members of the media were misdirected by the Secret Service to leave the White House grounds. The members of the press were rerouted to exits on the south side of the complex for their own safety."

 

Before the evacuation, some protesters attempted to use ropes to pull down a statue of former US President Andrew Jackson, sparking a confrontation with US Park Police and DC, who used batons and pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

One sign at the protest declared the area the "Black House Autonomous Zone," a reference to a protest site in Seattle.

"Protesters threw things at police as they retreated, and officers shoved people in the melee," The Washington Post reported.

A White House spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

On Twitter, President Donald Trump lamented "the disgraceful vandalism, in Lafayette Park, of the magnificent Statue of Andrew Jackson."

That appeared to be a reference to the fact someone wrote "killer" on the statue.

Among other things, Jackson was responsible for the "Trail of Tears," when tens of thousands of indigenous people were forcibly removed from their land and marched west of the Mississippi River to make way for white settlers. Thousands died along the way.

"Jacksonian Democracy... was about the extension of white supremacy across the North American continent," historian Anthony Wallace wrote in a book about the seventh US president, as noted by Vox.

Trump has compared himself to Jackson, who he claims "had a big heart."

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