White House Claims Situation Room Is Under Repair

Last Monday, the Washington Post reported that a uniformed Secret Service officer found cocaine in the White House on Sunday during a routine search.

By last Wednesday, White House officials said that the cocaine was found near the West Wing lobby, a well-traveled area that is included in White House tours, implying that the cocaine could have been left there by anyone, including someone taking a tour of the White House.

But last Thursday, NBC News reported that the baggie of cocaine was not found in the well-traveled West Wing lobby, but near the West Executive entrance not far from the Situation Room.

The West Executive entrance is only used by White House staff and preapproved West Wing visitors, ruling out the possibility that the cocaine was left by a random visitor taking the White House tour.

During Thursday’s White House press briefing, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan was asked about possible national security implications of cocaine being found near the Situation Room.

Sullivan noted that the Situation Room is “currently under construction” and hasn’t been used for months. He explained that during construction, White House officials are using “an alternate Situation Room” located in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House grounds.

Sullivan added that the only people that are entering and leaving the Situation Room right now are the construction workers, leading some to suspect that Kirby was trying to pin the blame for the cocaine on a construction worker.

Sullivan reiterated that the White House has “rigorous drug testing policies” and policies on drug use, adding that these policies are taken “extremely seriously.” He said if the investigation finds that someone from the White House is involved, “appropriate consequences will ensue.”

Sullivan added that if the drugs were left by “some visitor,” that would raise “a different set of questions,” all of which are “less relevant to my line of work.”