The White House was briefly evacuated after the Secret Service discovered a suspicious powder, which turned out to be the drug cocaine, law enforcement officials have said.
Secret Service agents were doing routine rounds on Sunday evening when they found the white powder in an area accessible to tour groups, not in any particular West Wing office, two officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told AP.
The complex was evacuated at about 8.45 pm (local time) on Sunday as fire and emergency crews were brought in to do a rapid test, which preliminarily identified it as cocaine.
The White House was soon reopened and the powder was sent for further testing.
President Joe Biden and his family were not in the complex at the time – they had left for the Camp David country retreat on Friday and returned to the White House on Tuesday.
The Secret Service said in a statement the White House was closed as a precaution as emergency crews investigated, and that the District of Columbia fire department was called in to evaluate and determine that the substance was not hazardous.
“The item was sent for further evaluation and an investigation into the cause and manner of how it entered the White House is pending,” the statement read.