Jul 5, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Cocaine was in "heavily traveled area" of White House

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attends the Fourth of July celebration event at the White House in Washington D.C., United States on July 4, 2023.

President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attend a Fourth of July celebration event at the White House on July 4. Photo: Celal Gunes/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The cocaine found Sunday in the West Wing of the White House was in a "heavily traveled area" where many visitors pass through, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during a briefing Wednesday.

Driving the news: Jean-Pierre said the Secret Service is investigating how the illegal substance wound up in an area where visitors and staff routinely pass through a security checkpoint.

  • "We do have West Wing tours that occur here on campus," she said, adding that tours occurred on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this past weekend.

President Biden, who was with first lady Jill Biden and their family members at Camp David over the weekend, has been briefed on the situation and "everything that we know so far," Jean-Pierre added.

The big picture: Lab testing for the substance came back positive for cocaine, a spokesperson for the Secret Service confirmed to Axios on Wednesday.

  • The discovery of the substance prompted a brief evacuation from the White House.
  • Biden returned to the White House from Camp David on Tuesday morning.
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