Trump was there for a little under an hour before being brought upstairs as protesters pulled metal barricades away from the White House gates, The New York Times reported Sunday.
First lady Melania Trump and their son, Barron, were also moved to the bunker, a law enforcement source and another source familiar with the matter told CNN.
“If the condition at the White House is elevated to RED and the President is moved” to the Emergency Operations Center “Melania Trump, Barron Trump and any other first family members would be moved as well,” one of the sources said.
White House officials have so far not responded to requests for comment, and the Secret Service declined to cite operational concerns.
Cities across the US have been the scene of chaos for nearly a week as anti-racism protesters have held demonstrations over the brutal death of an unarmed black man last Monday.
George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck as he begged for air. A video released showed ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly 9 minutes as Floyd cried for his mother and said he couldn’t breathe.
Curfews have also been announced in several US cities but many protesters remained defiant with law enforcement officers responding with a show of force in an attempt to disperse crowds.
On Sunday night, police fired tear gas outside the White House to disperse protesters as businesses, a church and other establishments in the vicinity were boarding up their windows and securing their valuables amid fears that protests could intensify.
Mayor Bowser is ordering a citywide curfew for the District of Columbia from 11:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, until 6:00 a.m. on Monday, June 1. She has also activated the DC National Guard to support the Metropolitan Police Department.
Also, the Secret Service asked people to “avoid streets and parks near the White House complex.”
Early in the morning, Trump criticized Bowser in a tweet, accusing her of not allowing D.C. police to assist Secret Service agents.
….have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen. That’s when people would have been really badly hurt, at least. Many Secret Service agents just waiting for action. “We put the young ones on the front line, sir, they love it, and….
….good practice.” As you saw last night, they were very cool & very professional. Never let it get out of hand. Thank you! On the bad side, the D.C. Mayor, @MurielBowser, who is always looking for money & help, wouldn’t let the D.C. Police get involved. “Not their job.” Nice!
Later that day, Trump admonished protesters and commended the “majority of police officers.”
Speaking at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida after the launch of the NASA/SpaceX rocket, Trump said, “I stand before you as a friend and ally to every American seeking justice and peace. And I stand before you in firm opposition to anyone exploiting this tragedy to loot, rob, attack and menace. Healing, not hatred, justice, not chaos, are the mission at hand.”
“We must defend the rights of every citizen to live without violence, prejudice or fear,” Trump said before supporting “the overwhelming majority of police officers who are incredible in every way and devoted public servants.”