The White House is reportedly going into lockdown ahead of Election Day, with barriers being placed around the complex and the National Guard being put on standby.
NBC News correspondent Geoff Bennett reported on Sunday that the White House was taking precautions against apparent unrest in the final days of the presidential race, with preparations being made to secure the building and the area around it.
“The White House on lockdown: A federal law enforcement source tells NBC that beginning tomorrow, crews will build a ‘non-scalable’ fence to secure the WH complex, Ellipse and Lafayette Square,” he tweeted. “250 National Guardsmen have been put on standby, reporting to Metro Police officials.”
The measures appeared similar to ones taken earlier in the year, when a series of protests were held near the building amid nationwide civil unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. As NPR reported back in early June, security fencing was installed around the entire Ellipse and extended multiple blocks to Constitution Avenue.
The fence was also installed around Lafayette Park, the site of one of the most controversial moments of the summer protests in which federal law enforcement officials forcefully pushed out a group of peaceful protesters. Shortly after the clash, Donald Trump walked through the area to a nearby church that had been damaged the night before, taking part in a photo op in which he held a bible.
After the clash, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called on the Trump administration to withdraw all federal law enforcement and military from the city, saying that the protests had been peaceful.
During an earlier protest, Trump was reportedly taken to a secure underground bunker after some of the protesters had damaged barriers surrounding the building. The president later claimed that he was not taken there due to safety concerns, but rather to inspect the bunker. He began to speak out against the demonstrations, threatening to send in the U.S. military to break them up if needed.
As The Inquisitr reported, Trump canceled plans to hold an election night celebration at his hotel in the nation’s capital and instead chose to remain in the White House.
Reuters reported on Sunday that he would be hosting a party in the East Room, an indoor event with close to 400 people attending. This would go against public health recommendations not to hold large and in-person events, especially ones indoors where the coronavirus could spread more easily.