A powdery white substance that tested positive as cocaine in preliminary tests was found in the White House, sparking an investigation from the U.S. Secret Service, the agency said Tuesday.
Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesperson for the Secret Service, told Forbes that the white powder was found in the White House Sunday evening and that preliminary tests showed it was cocaine.
Guglielmi said the discovery prompted a brief evacuation–President Joe Biden was at Camp David and not in the White House at the time–and response from the Washington, D.C., Fire Department, which quickly determined the substance to be nonhazardous.
The Secret Service has launched an investigation into how it entered the White House, Guglielmi said.
The substance was discovered in a work area in the west wing by members of the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service conducting routine rounds through the building, the secret service told Forbes.
The news was first broken after several news organizations reportedly heard firefighters discussing the discovery on public radio channels.
This might not be the first time illegal drugs were brought into or used at the White House. American Rapper Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus Jr. claimed on a webshow in 2014 that he smoked marijuana in a White House bathroom in 2013. Willie Nelson similarly claims in his 1988 autobiography he smoked a joint on the White House roof sometime during President Jimmy Carter’s presidency.
Villanova University star basketball player Gary McLain told Sports Illustrated in 1987 that he was “wired on cocaine” during his visit to meet President Ronald Reagan at the White House following the team’s 1985 NCAA championship.
“You have got to be kidding me,” former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who served in President George W. Bush’s administration, wrote on Twitter following the discovery. “Cocaine was found at the WH and authorities aren’t saying exactly where it was found. If it’s the Old Executive Office Building, it’s likely staff. If it’s the mansion, it’s likely Hunter.”
Secret Service investigating suspected cocaine found in White House (The Washington Post)