US President Donald Trump has thanked the secret service after a "troubled" intruder was apprehended in the White House.

A man carrying a backpack was arrested just before midnight (5am GMT) on Friday, 10 March, after he was discovered near the entrance to the first family's home – the executive residence of the White House.

The president said in comments carried by Reuters that the intruder was a "troubled person" and said the secret service had done a fantastic job, adding that he had been told about the intruder after he was apprehended.

When the man was discovered by security, the intruder said he had jumped the fence but claimed "I am a friend of the President. I have an appointment," CNN reported.

Last night's break-in is not the first time an intruder has managed to get into the White House grounds, with several people managing to do so during former president Barack Obama's tenure.

Most notably, in 2014, Iraq war veteran Omar Gonzalez was arrested after sprinting across the White House lawn before being tackled to the ground by security service agents. It was later revealed by prosecutors that Gonzalez had over 800 rounds of ammunition, a machete and two hatchets on his person at the time of the breach.

In 2015 the White House was again on high alert after Joseph Caputo scaled the fence at the iconic building on Thanksgiving Day. The incident took place days after a woman was arrested for tossing an apple core over the South Lawn fence, though she was later released without charge.

Trump has been the subject of speculation around assassination attempts since his shock victory in November's election. In January, a number betting companies refused to give some a group of gamblers denied odds on an attempt on the president's life.