Mouse falls from White House ceiling into man's lap

Rodents have been an enduring nuisance for commanders in chief

Wednesday 02 October 2019 09:15
The man was taken for a mental health assessment
The man was taken for a mental health assessment

Reporters got a surprise when a mouse fell from the ceiling at the White House.

The rodent fell onto the lap of NBC News White House correspondent Peter Alexander yesterday morning, before eventually seeking refuge amid a tangle of wires behind a shelf.

Some reporters ran for cover, while others sought to corner the mouse and capture it. The rodent snuck under the door into the main hall of the press area before it eventually ran into the briefing room, where reporters lost track of it.

Social media was bombarded with images of the mouse and the subsequent hunt.

Mice, rats, cockroaches and other creepy-crawlies are not new to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, proving an enduring problem for commanders in chief and a popular metaphor for their critics.

As Caroline Harrison, wife of Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd president, once noted: “The rats have nearly taken the building so it has become necessary to get a man with ferrets to drive them out. They have become so numerous and bold that they get up on the table.”

President Donald Trump was even more concise in 2017, when he reportedly pointed out that the White House is a “real dump.”

Late last year, a rat made its way onto the White House lawn. The White House and Lafayette Square are maintained by the National Park Service, which conducts rodent sweeps weekly.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The District of Columbia allocated an additional $906,000 (£740,000) this year to help the Department of Health get a handle on the city's rat problem.

Calls about rodents to the city's 311 line reached an all-time high in 2017, according to data collected by The Washington Post, totaling 5,310.

The Washington Post

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