April 15th, 2009
08:23 PM ET
9 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. Galen

    Absolutely repulsive, that Americans would do such a thing.

    Shame on rascism, shame on the G.O.P, shame on rascists and hate groups.


    OBAMA =D AND OBAMA 2012 =D

    April 15, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. SJ

    A majority of protesters are Republicans....they don't really know why they're out there, they were just told to do so. They just follow blindly, not really knowing were they're going or why.

    April 15, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Ryanna

    These people are SO pathetic. Are they actually trying, poor souls, to protect the rich who should pay MORE taxes ? Delusional ...

    April 15, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. JonDie

    The morons who put the box there cost the taxpayers a bundle. But what do Republicans care? Most of them hardly pay ANY taxes.

    April 15, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Lillie

    I mailed checks today to pay my federal and state taxes due! Now that's the patriotic thing to do and it makes me a great AMERICAN, Sean Hannity! The majority of the tea baggers are earned income credit folks pretending they have a problem with taxes. And the only folks making over $250.000 are those pundits that don't believe half of the garbage they spew over the airwaves! Come on people, please wake up!! Pres. Obama didn't steal this election....HE WON!!!

    Obama/Biden 2012

    April 15, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Robin

    @ Mark who said...
    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.

    But it was okay for someone to throw shoes directly at the world leader? Talk about double standard.

    @ Tulsa....
    Ever hear of the "Fairness Doctrine" and the Dems who are fighting to bring it back?

    April 15, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  7. Lori

    What matters is that the majority of Democrat and Independent Americans see through these tea parties and know that it is hidden racism and hatred against the President and the Republicans will see the backlash from these tea parties. If these protests weren't racist than why weren't these people out protesting when George Bush was sending our AMERICAN TAX DOLLARS to the Iraqi people for YEARS and when Bush passed the 1st stimulus bill? All of a sudden after January 20th these Republicans (and some Libertarians) are now are against gov't spending? And did you see the rednecks that were at these 'tea parties'?

    I agree with our President's tax and economic policies. It is necessary to right the wrongs that Bush and the Republicans created and to move America forward!

    April 15, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  8. Jeff

    Susan Roesgen is a fool for saying the tea parties are "Anti-CNN"....the tea parties stand for smaller, less intrusive federal government and more individual liberties. why would those views be threatening to CNN?

    April 15, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  9. USMC - Mike

    good bye GoP ...

    We've been laughing about this crap at work today ...

    too funny ...

    April 15, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. Lori

    To 'Worried Mom' and the like:

    No one is threatened by these 'tea parties' anymore than we were threatened by Sarah Palin. Don't you Republicans see that everyone you claim Democrats are threatened by, end up losing? Palin lost (she didn't rally the Independents and woman that they wanted in order to win the election) and these 'tea parties' will only galvanize the majority of the Democrats and the Independents against the radical Republicans we see on t.v today because we all know that it is an anti-Obama protest. America hates GOP negativity. Didn't you guys learn that from the last election???

    April 15, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Don

    All I got to say is where were these Tea Part nuts8 years ago. Seems to me that I am paying less in taxes..not sure what their beef is. FOX news should be ashamed for what they are stirring up. I have been watching their "fair and unbalanced" coverage most of the day. Can we say that the impartial journalist are almost giddy with excitement. Glenn Beck has a right to free speech, but what he is doing is creating a mass hysteria.

    April 15, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. Kitty

    You Obamanites – if you thought Bush spent a lot of money on wars – STRAP on your seat belts – Obama will out spend Bush not just on wars!!!

    April 15, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. Quick Question

    At Robin:

    Ever hear of how Obama and top dems have promised NOT to reintroduce the "fairness doctrine". Stop doing basic propaganda and do some basic research.

    April 15, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  14. SJ

    Anyone notice how news networks never show the crowd size at any of these protests? The only one that I noticed had to be at least 12 protesters, yet some media outlets made it sound like it's a huge national event!

    April 15, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  15. Dylan from MN

    We already had one Tea party, this one will be forgotten in history and it looks really foolish. Any level headed educated person know where this country needs to go and how we need to get there. We're not going to "socialism" or whatever you crackpots call it, we need new government, a government for the future and the majority of us trust President Obama to get us there.

    April 15, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. So cal

    @ Robin who typed: "But it was okay for someone to throw shoes directly at the world leader? Talk about double standard".

    No, it wasn't ok, if you were to look at the news every once in a while the person who threw the shoes received jail time for it.....

    April 15, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  17. SJ

    REPUBLICANS ARE OUTRAGED! Why? For the first time in 8 years the money's not going in they're pockets.

    April 15, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  18. Chris

    Does anybody know what ideas the tea-baggers have to fix the economy? I thought not.

    April 15, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  19. Ain't life strange?

    It would stand to reason the majority of the tea bag throwers are making over $250, 000 a year. If they weren't that would make the protesters those people who are getting a tax cut under Obama's tax plan. This tea party was stirred by the wealthy and they are sitting back watching all the middle class folk protest for them. Same old, same old. We just keep doing the work for the rich. That's why today I had an extra cup of coffee.

    April 15, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  20. JM

    This is about protesting wasteful spebending and non-responsiveness from Washington. The only thing mentioned in the constitution twice is the right to redress which the people aren't being given.

    April 15, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  21. sam

    what a laim party. I have had more people over at my house for a tea.

    April 15, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  22. Dawn

    Anything thrown into the White House lawn, you can scramble the Secret Service.

    I do agree that we never seen this during the Bush Administration... Oh we could not do that, we could have been picked up and placed in a CIA torture camps because we were never allowed to protest anything.

    Well they have the wrong definition for the tea party,. The colonist protested taxes that was levied by a tyrannt King 3000 miles away. He kept the taxes and did not help the Colonist... Thus the Amercian Revolution. And why didn't we revolute Bush's Policies? Just answer that Question, since he spent and squandered the money that was a surplus from a liberal President.

    Well go and buy some iced tea, hey it isn't taxed...

    April 15, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. MPTD

    How funny! Like jimmy carter's attack-rabbit! Oooooo! Scary box of tea!

    April 15, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  24. Jason

    Can you imagine if that idiot had been shot dead on the spot!! The pathetic extremist right wing Republican dogs would have been calling for holy war! How low are the Republicans going to go or is there a bottom for them?

    April 15, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  25. Doug

    Here's what you get after decades of dumbing down the populace: tea bags. It's too soon to vote against your own interests, so protest the fact that the wealthiest few will soon have to pay a little more in taxes. Idiots.

    April 15, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
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