Nightly News   |  April 15, 2013

Washington ‘on edge’ after Boston explosions

Very little is known at this point as to who set off the bombs at the Boston Marathon, leaving security officials frustrated. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> out on the white house lawn. chuck, i have just been told house speaker boehner is leading a moment of oh silence for the boston victims across town from you on the floor of congress.

>> reporter: he is. we now see flags are officially being lowered to half staff. the president himself has been really in information receive mode. he's been getting updates all day when it comes from his homeland security director, fbi director . it's what the president said and what he didn't say that's important to listen to. take a listen to what the president said about who could be behind this and what will happen when they figure it out.

>> we still do not know who did this or why. and people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. but make no mistake. we will get to the bottom of this. we will find out who did this. we'll find out why they did this. any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.

>> reporter: as you heard there he specifically didn't say the word "terrorism." that was a decision they made in advance not to use that term. down the street, brian, as you know, the president himself has briefed congressional leaders and speaker boehner himself led the u.s. congress in a moment of silence for those victims in boston. we are showing you a little bit of that now. so, brian, all of washington a little bit on edge because of a frustration of how little they seem to know which is unusual for this town.

>> and, chuck, another illustration of the dark days that can come to the president. whoever happens to be the president at any given time. last time we saw the president kind of in this cast was days before christmas, that terribly sad announcement after newtown.

>> reporter: it was. you know, it's interesting the different tone. you could hear and feel the frustration with the president this time. in the newtown days and just how much of a gut punch. you could see the emotion with the president there. here, you can see and feel and hear the determination and, frankly, the frustration in his voice about the lack of what they know about what happened, who did this, and why. i can tell you in talking with various security officials they are frustrated. they are not used to even four hours after something like this happens to know as little as they seem to know tonight.

>> chuck todd on the white house north lawn for us tonight. chuck, thanks.