Secret Service staff recovered a small drone from the grounds of the White House, US media report.
A spokesman for President Barack Obama confirmed that a “device” had been discovered but said it posed no immediate danger.
Barack Obama and the First Lady are currently on a visit to India.
The Secret Service, which is tasked with the president’s security, has been criticized for recent lapses, leading to a leadership reorganization.
In September a man armed with a knife scaled the White House perimeter fence and gained access to the building.
Days earlier an armed private security guard had been allowed to ride in the same lift as the president.
Although President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were in New Delhi when the device was found, their children are believed to be in Washington DC, according to the New York Times.
At a press briefing in India, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said: “I don’t have any reason to think at this point that the first family is in any danger.”
Although he did not specify what kind of “device” had been found, US media reports described it as a small drone.
Many such drones are available commercially or used as toys, unlike the larger versions used in a military capacity.
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