WASHINGTON – The Secret Secret gave an all-clear and allowed members of the press and other employees back into buildings near the White House who were evacuated Monday after a bomb-sniffing police dog signaled it smelled something suspicious in a minivan.
The buildings included were the White House Conference Center and buildings surrounding Blair House — where Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is staying as he prepares for a meeting with President Bush on Tuesday.
The vehicle that was being inspected was parked in front of Lafayette Park, across from the White House, and was said to be part of Olmert's delegation. Police shut off traffic on nearby streets as they investigated the situation, which lasted about 90 minutes.
Members of the press who were standing outside of the executive mansion were also asked to leave the White House grounds, though staff and President Bush are in the building ahead of a celebration with NCAA winning teams.
U.S. officials said D.C. Metro Police were using an abundance of caution in calling in an explosives and ordnance team after what is reportedly a bomb scare. A robot also was expected to inspect the vehicle.
Olmert had just arrived in Washington, D.C., for a stay at Blair House, where foreign dignitaries often reside while visiting the president. Olmert is in town for talks with U.S. officials on the recent dissolution of the Palestinian government, and security has been heightened because of his visit. His vehicle motorcade remained outside Blair House while the evacuation occurred.
Sources told FOX News that the minivan was not part of Olmert's motorcade.
The press corps has been working out of the conference center at Jackson Place and H Street, N.W., while its usual space inside the White House is under renovation.