The president was at the podium discussing mail-in voting and the coronavirus when a large man in a grey suit with an earpiece approached him. “Oh, okay,” Mr Trump said as he was escorted out of the room.
Television cameras from inside the James Brady Briefing Room several minutes after Mr Trump was escorted out showed uniformed Secret Service officers with automatic weapons looking out over the North Lawn towards Pennsylvania Avenue.
Reporters were asked to remain in the press area.
Mr Trump soon returned to the briefing room to complete his briefing.
Fox News reported that there was a shooting at 17th Street NW and Pennsylvania Street NW, which is steps from the White House’s gate.
Mr Trump said someone has been taken to the hospital.
“It seems the person was shot by Secret Service,” he said. “It was one person.”
The president said he was whisked to the Oval Office, and referred reporters’ questions on the incident
“The world ... has been a dangerous place,” he said when asked if he felt rattled.
“I felt safe with the Secret Service,” the president said. “They’re fantastic people.”
“There were a lot of terrific people,” he said, “ready to go.”