Secret Service Ordered Journalists To Leave White House As Protesters Tied To Topple Andrew Jackson Statue

The US Secret Service (USSS) has said that reporters had been “misdirected” when told to leave the White House amid new protests.

In a statement, the USSS said that “four members of the media were misdirected” to leave the White House complex on Monday night after police pushed back protesters in Lafayette Square.

Protesters had attempted to pull-down the president Andrew Jackson statue positioned outside the White House, when four reporters were told to leave, said CNN.

“We were inside the White House and Secret Service officers came round to the reporters and said that we had to leave the White House grounds,” said CNN’s Kaitlan Collins whilst on air.

“It’s actually incredibly unusual,” she added. “I don’t think we’ve ever been asked to actually physically leave the White House at a time like that”.

According to the USSS statement, reporters were told to use the south side exit on Monday “for their own safety” despite ongoing demonstrations outside.

“On Monday evening, in response to the increasingly violent demonstrations in Lafayette Park, four members of the media were misdirected by the Secret Service to leave the White House grounds,” said a Secret Service spokesperson to CNN. “The members of the press were rerouted to exits on the south side of the complex for their own safety.”

Despite that, CNN cameras showed demonstrators arguing with police outside the White House, in what appeared to be an active situation on Monday night.

“It’s probably 150 to 200 protesters here in front of the White House, if I just do a count from where I’m standing,” Ms Collins told CNN host Anderson Cooper.

The Andrew Jackson statue, which was not toppled on Monday night, had earlier been surrounded with police using chemical irritants to push back protesters in Lafayette Square, said CNN.

It comes three weeks on from Donald Trump’s controversial staged St John’s church photo which saw police clear protesters from the same square with tear gas so that he could pose with a bible.

The US president used Twitter late on Monday to condemn “the disgraceful vandalism, in Lafayette Park, of the magnificent Statue of Andrew Jackson, in addition to the exterior defacing of St. John’s Church across the street.”

He added: “10 years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act. Beware!”

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