News Donald Trump rushed to safety after White House shooting
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Donald Trump rushed to safety after White House shooting

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US President Donald Trump has been abruptly escorted out of a media briefing by a Secret Service agent because of a shooting outside the White House.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought were also escorted out, and the doors to the room locked.

Mr Trump returned several minutes later on Monday afternoon (local time) and said a person had been shot by law enforcement and taken to the hospital.

He said he understood the suspect had been armed.

“It was a shooting outside of the White House,” Mr Trump said. “It seems to be very well under control. … But there was an actual shooting, and somebody has been taken to the hospital. I don’t know the condition of the person.”

He said the shooting was near the fence at the edge of the White House grounds.

CNN reported it had confirmation from a senior administration official that there was an “active shooter” and the shooter was in custody.

The Secret Service said in a tweet “the investigation into a USSS officer involved shooting is ongoing. A male subject and a USSS officer were both transported to a local hospital. At no time during this incident was the White House complex breached or were any protectees in danger.”

The incident happened at the corner of 17th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, just outside the White House grounds and close to Lafayette park.

When the briefing resumed, CNN’s Jeremy Diamond asked Mr Trump if he was taken to the bunker under the White House: “No, we were taken just out to the oval office.”

Also asked if he was disturbed by the incident, the President replied: “I don’t know, do I seem rattled?”

“It’s unfortunate that this is a world – but the world has always been a dangerous place. It’s not something that’s unique. The world has been … You look back over the centuries, the world has been a dangerous place, a very dangerous place.

“And … it will continue, I guess, for a period of time,” he said.

Mr Trump said the shots had been fired by law enforcement, saying he believed the man who was shot was armed.

The Associated Press reported the shooter, who reportedly suffered serious or possibly critical injuries, was transferred to a local hospital. Authorities were investigating his motive, and whether he had a history of mental illness.

Nobody else was wounded in the shooting, Mr Trump said. He praised the Secret Service response and said the agency would have more details on the event later.

Onlookers managed to capture the moment the gunman was treated on the ground by police before ambulance paramedics arrived.

The president had been speaking about the stock market when a Secret Service agent interrupted him at the podium only minutes into the briefing.

-with agencies