WASHINGTON — President Obama was notified about the explosions at the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon, a White House official said.
The White House "is in contact with state and local authorities," the official said. "He directed his administration to provide whatever assistance is necessary in the investigation and response."
Obama was notified of the Boston incident around 3:00 p.m. ET, according to the official. The president was briefed by "Homeland Security Adviser Lisa Monaco and other members of his senior White House staff in the Oval Office," and then called Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino to offer federal support in the aftermath of the explosions.
Later in the day, Obama was briefed by FBI Director Robert Mueller and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Around 5:30, the White House released an official photo of Obama on the phone with Mueller talking about Boston while his Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and the White House Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough looked on. (Photo is above.)
There were signs of increased security at the White House in the hours after news broke of the explosions in Boston. White House security officers closed Pennsylvania Avenue to foot traffic.