Intruder arrested at The White House

Jen Offord
Donald Trump

A man has been arrested after breaching White House security just before midnight local time (5am GMT) on Friday (10 March) night, according to reports on Saturday.

The man, who was carrying a backpack according to CNN, was discovered by security staff near the south entrance to the executive residence, the part of the White House in which the First Family resides.

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The breach took place at around midnight on Friday according to the secret service. The suspect was later arrested and taken into police custody.

An administration source told CNN that President Donald Trump was in his Washington DC presidential home over the weekend.

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Both Trump and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were briefed on the incident.

The intruder was not in possession of any hazardous materials, the Secret Services said.

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Furthermore, having searched the grounds, they said they had found: "nothing of concern to security operations".

During the incident, the White House had been placed on the highest security alert – "condition orange" – reported CNN.

After the incident, CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny tweeted that the alleged intruder claimed to have an appointment to see Trump, who was a friend of his.

A number of intruders were able to access the White House grounds during the tenure of previous President Barack Obama.

Most notably, in 2014, Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez was arrested after sprinting across the White House lawn before being tackled to the ground by security service agents. It was later revealed by prosecutors that Gonzalez had over 800 rounds of ammunition, a machete and two hatchets on his person at the time of the breach.

In 2015 the White House was again on high alert after Joseph Caputo scaled the fence at the iconic building on Thanksgiving Day. The incident took place days after a woman was arrested for tossing an apple core over the South Lawn fence, though she was later released without charge.

Trump has been the subject of speculation around assassination attempts since his shock victory in November's election. In January, a number betting companies refused to give some a group of gamblers denied odds on an attempt on the president's life.

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