Threats close parts of White House, Congress hearing

Secret Service police stand outside the press briefing room of the White House on Tuesday during an evacuation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KRON/CNN) — A pair of security threats led to evacuations and shut down areas of the White House and Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

In the middle of the daily briefing by White House press secretary Josh Earnest, officials told all reporters to evacuate the briefing room. Emergency officials also cleared the North Lawn of the White House.

Earnest said President Obama who was in the White House at the time, was not moved during the evacuation.

The Secret Service said a bomb threat had been called in to the DC Metropolitan Police Department specially targeting the briefing room.

The evacuation at the White House came just hours after U.S. Capitol Police received a bomb threat that forced the evacuation of a hearing on the Transportation Security Adminstration in the Dirksen Senate office building.

A Senate aide who was briefed by police confirmed to CNN that the first bomb threat was made targeting a specific location, which is what caused police to take the threat more seriously. The aide said the caller described a device that had been placed in the Homeland Security Committee offices on the third floor of the Dirksen building.

Police eventually gave the Senate building the all clear.

Investigators say it is still unclear if the bomb threat on Capitol Hill was related to the evacuation that occurred later in the afternoon at the White House.

Reporters were allowed back into the White House briefing room roughly a half hour after the evacuation began, and Earnest’s briefing resumed shortly thereafter.

“I have complete confidence in the professionalism of the men and women of the secret service to make judgments about what’s necessary to keep all of us safe,” Earnest told reporters during the briefing after it resumed.

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