April 15th, 2009
08:23 PM ET
6 years ago

A box of tea forces White House into lockdown

 Uniformed members of the Secret Service are seen outside the White House after a suspicious package was tossed over the fence onto the White House grounds.
Uniformed members of the Secret Service are seen outside the White House after a suspicious package was tossed over the fence onto the White House grounds.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secret Service officers were scurrying to close the North Lawn of the White House Wednesday afternoon because of a suspicious package and it appeared that trouble was brewing.

But it turned out that nothing more was brewing than an innocent little box of, yes, tea bags.

The security alert started around 2 p.m. ET, when an unidentified person tossed the box over the gate of the White House and it landed on President Obama's lawn with a thud.

Journalists were quickly banned from moving outside of the press briefing room, and hundreds of protesters gathered for a "Tax Day Tea Party" were quickly shooed out of Lafayette Park as a security robot inspected the package closely.
After about a half hour of high alert, a Secret Service official told CNN the "suspicious package" was merely some tea bags. So the threat was over, and so was the anti-Obama protest.

Updated: 5:05 p.m.


Filed under: Tea Party movement • White House
soundoff (178 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    And let the sophomoric giggling continue! Gotta love it. Someone please report on the content of Kaminsky's memorandum so the full-on laughter can begin.

    April 15, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. barking republican ankle biters

    All forty tea baggers ran for their life like fearful little kids that they are.

    April 15, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  3. anonimus

    "We've got tea bags sir!"
    "Call of the bomb sniffing dogs and pull out the teapot."
    "Affirmative!"

    April 15, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  4. Enlightened Voter

    Disgusting! I know 37 people who switched from being republican to democrats in the last election and they are working on their friends and family. People, we have to take a stand against the republicans, talk to everyone you know and let's stop this insanity! Haven't the rethugs ruined this country enough?

    April 15, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. Tim

    Wow, way to silence the opposition Obama break out the water hoses next. Sorry that a community has organized against you.

    April 15, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  6. Carol

    to the idiot who threw the pckage, guess how much that prank cost? Guess whos taxes are going to have to pay for it?

    April 15, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. carlo

    This has nothing to do with taxes. Obama's tax cuts haven't even taken effect, so if the taxes upset them, they would have protested for the past 8 years. The spending has been large for 8 years and no protests about it. This is about people who hate Obama and who selfishly fear that someone might receive a few dollars of their money, yet if they were in the other person's shoes, they'd be beging for the government to help them, too.

    April 15, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. Doug, New Jersey

    Obama has instructed that the DHS take out any honest, tax paying, never arrested, play by the rule American with tea, but to look the other way at an illegal with c4. Thanks for voting Democrat!!!

    April 15, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Gracie

    This tea bagging is so stupid on all levels.

    WHAT is the GOP hollering about now? Tax, Socialism, etc.???

    WELL whose taxes do these clowns think they are protesting? It's the Bush/Republican taxes!!!

    These protestors are too ignorant to realize they are protesting their own party's taxes, socialism and deficits!!!

    Once again leave it to the GOP to sabotage their own party! How ironic is that?

    April 15, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Jon

    oh yeah, the "anti-obama" protest.

    April 15, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Charlie in Maine

    Hey tea bag throwers: Wake uo and smell the coffee. Where was your protest when GW Bush thoght it was agood idea to spend 12 million dollars an hour occupying a country that never attacked us? I thought so.

    April 15, 2009 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. republicans hate america

    i proudly paid my taxes today

    April 15, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. Linda32

    These people are wasting the tax dollars they are crying so much about! But why would I expect them to make sense.

    April 15, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  14. Robin

    It won't be funny when we lose our freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

    April 15, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  15. Susan

    where were these guys when Bush was in power.
    Even though I do not like many of Obama policies, Republican party's hypocrisy and its stupid cheer leaders (Rush, Hannity, Glenn Beck etc) are forcing me to stay with the best among the worst.

    April 15, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  16. Lois

    It is NOT an anti-Obama protest! It is much bigger than that. Congress controls the spending and the same old people have been in charge, some for more than 20 years. Come on let's get it right as to who is to blame for the mess we are in today.

    April 15, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Jon in CA

    Glad to see one of Obama's surrogates could toss a box of tea-bags causing the Secret Service to disband any protests!

    This Administration is doing a bang-up job orchestrating events to conrol the masses.

    Another example: Cuba. Obama loosens restrictions – which could cause a backlash from Americans. Castro, on que, complains about the embargo, thereby buying Obama some sympathy.

    Castro and Obama doing the good-cop, bad-cop routine.

    But go back to your zombie partisan defense of your messiah. Don't let REALITY spoil your little party.

    April 15, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  18. Mark

    "Wow, way to silence the opposition Obama break out the water hoses next. Sorry that a community has organized against you."

    That's easily the dumbest statement so far. Any idiot knows that in a protest you don't throw a suspicious package towards the domicile of a world leader, doesn't matter who you are.

    I don't credit neocon tea-baggers with an overabundance of brains, but they should be able to figure the basics out. The folks are lucky it's not the Bush era any more, they'd already be in Guantanamo with no paperwork, no trial, no due process.

    April 15, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  19. Karen - Missouri

    These people are idiots. Noway near the Boston Tea Party. Typical Republicans....any stupid idea they can think of. These people would let this economy totally fail if it were up to them. Uneducated jerks if you ask me.

    April 15, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  20. Gloria

    The shame of this whole idea is that these people are protesting about tax brackets, deficit spending and bailouts that all began under the previous administration. In case you don't remember, it was a republican administration.

    I also would like to know how many of these idiots are willing to give up medicare and social security (these are a form of socialism) for themselves or any of their family members who?

    GOP...the party of no NEW ideas!!!

    April 15, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    @ Carol, who said "to the idiot who threw the pckage, guess how much that prank cost? Guess whos taxes are going to have to pay for it?"

    Haha, awesome...so true...you hit the nail on the head.

    April 15, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  22. Beverly

    The tea party participants are dingbats, plain and simple. Have any of them ever written a letter to their elected officials? Probably not.

    April 15, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. txkboy

    Some people just need to get a life!!

    April 15, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. Irma in North Carolina

    I think the republican party is becoming a disgrace. Some one needs to do something about this party they are getting out of hand. But as long as they have leaders like Rush, coulter and ingram what can you expect. I am so glad that I know longer belong to this party. Can they not see they are only hurting their chances of ever getting into the white house. As long as I live I will never vote for another republican no matter what they are running for.

    April 15, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  25. ray ray

    @ carlos says,

    "This has nothing to do with taxes."

    --

    No, not with taxes... but it has EVERYTHING to do with the SPENDING SPREE:

    Bail-out for banks
    Bail-out for Insurance Companies
    Bail-out for irresponsible homeowners
    Bail-out for crap auto Companies

    OUR money is being used to reward bad behavior! Those of us living the RIGHT WAY (working, paying taxes, paying our mortgage, not asking for a hand-out, etc) – WE are stuck with the bill.

    We are sick and tired of rewarding bad behavior and sticking it to the good people.

    April 15, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
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