A mysterious white material discovered at the White House over the weekend has been identified as cocaine, according to Al Jazeera, citing US media agencies.
The powder was discovered by Secret Service agents on Sunday about 8:45 p.m. local time in a publicly accessible area of the West Wing, triggering a brief evacuation of the facility.
President Joe Biden was not present at the time. Instead, he was at Camp David, the presidential retreat, for the weekend. Fire and emergency services arrived to conduct preliminary tests on the substance. Preliminary tests confirmed that the powder was cocaine.
The White House reopened soon after, and the powder was submitted for more testing. While the Secret Service has stated that a “item” has been located and tested, it has not yet defined what the material was.
“The item was s ent for further evaluation, and an investigation into the cause and manner of how it entered the White House is pending,” the presidential security agency said in a statement, according to Al Jazeera.
Many media publications, citing government sources, recognised the drug. According to the Washington Post, “a firefighter with the DC fire department’s hazardous materials team radioed the results of the tested powder.” According to Al Jazeera, Biden and his family left for Camp David on Friday and returned to the White House on Tuesday, when the president was due to address a national teachers’ union and have a barbecue to commemorate US Independence Day.