WASHINGTON — Secret Service agents rushed President Donald Trump to an underground bunker Friday, as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the White House, some throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades just outside the executive mansion.
That’s according to a Republican close to the White House not authorized to publicly discuss private matters and confirmed by another official. The abrupt decision by the agents underscored the rattled mood inside the White House, where the chants from Lafayette Park could be heard all weekend and Secret Service agents and law enforcement officers struggled to contain the crowds.
The Friday protests, triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer, turned violent and appeared to catch officers by surprise. It sparked one of the highest alerts on the White House complex since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. In the days since, security at the White House has been reinforced by the National Guard and additional personnel from the Secret Service and the U.S. Park Police.
On Sunday, the Justice Department also deployed members of the U.S. Marshals Service and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration to supplement national guard troops outside the White House, according to a senior Justice Department official. The official could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.