The White House complex was locked down Friday — with the Australian prime minister still inside its tall black gates — after a vehicle crashed into a security barrier.
Cable news networks captured images of uniformed U.S. Secret Service Agents walking in the middle of Washington’s 17th St. NW on the west side of the White House campus holding their firearms, fingers off but all positioned near the triggers.
Some looked more concerned than others. CNN caught three officers chatting casually as another scanned the scene with a serious expression.
“An individual driving a passenger vehicle struck a security barrier near the White House at 17th & E,” the Secret Service reported on its official Twitter account.
BREAKING: An individual driving a passenger vehicle struck a security barrier near the White House at 17th & E.— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) February 23, 2018
Staff members and reporters were ordered to remain inside the White House. Some reporters said White House aides were unable to enter the official West Wing entrance where Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s motorcade had arrived to pick him up after meetings and a joint press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Turnbull’s motorcade left and the lockdown was lifted shortly after 4 p.m. Friday.
Watch: Security Gets a Nudge Around D.C.