Reporters were told by the Secret Service to leave the White House grounds without explanation, CNN reported Monday night.
CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins was on the scene when the order came, she told Anderson Cooper. She said that around the moment reporters were told to leave, across the street from the White House in Lafayette Park, protesters were attempting to topple the statue of Andrew Jackson.
“It’s actually incredibly unusual, and I don’t think we’ve ever been asked to physically leave the White House at a time like that,” she told Cooper. Collins noted that the statue is several hundred feet away from the White House, and that CNN is attempting to get an explanation. Collins also noted that police and protesters were facing off against each other, and loud chanting could be heard in the background as she reported.
However, there was no indication in the report that the order to leave the White House was directly related to the protests. In addition, other networks did not report their reporters were told to leave the White House.
The area Collins discussed was the same place in early June that Trump held a press conference during which peaceful protesters were attacked by police and driven from the park so that Trump could take a photograph at the location. He was widely condemned for this action and over the next few days various figures in his administration were blamed for it., including Attorney General Bill Barr, who first confirmed he did only to change his story a day later.
Representatives for the White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Watch the CNN report below:
Reporters are told to leave the White House amid reports protesters attempted to remove an Andrew Jackson statue nearby.@kaitlancollins reports saying tensions are running high. pic.twitter.com/BotitSUYK3
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) June 23, 2020