Factual error: When Sawyer and Cale take Cadillac One ("The Beast"), they eventually want to shoot a rocket launcher at the fence. Sawyer wants to do this while hanging out of the window. The real Cadillac One is bullet proof and has several layers of glass with the final one softer not only to prevent the bullets entering but the deadlier threat of glass pieces. Only the driver side can open approximately 3 inches.
Factual error: On the laptop the news shows a Lockheed S-3 Viking launching from a carrier. The Viking was retired in 2010. (00:09:25)
Factual error: When passing the White House fence, the M1 Abrams tank is destroyed by RPG's fired by the terrorists. RPG's, while capable to do some damage to a Abrams battle tank, would not destroy it. Only anti-tank missiles would be capable to do that.
Character mistake: Towards the start, when Emily mentions that the presidential limo is based on a Cadillac CTS, she is wrong. The Cadillac DTS is the basis for the car, even though it does not carry a model designation anymore. (00:14:00)
Factual error: During the morning scene where snipers on top of the White House investigate a window curtain, they use a thermal imaging sight. They then see the heat signature of a couple through the window, but a thermal sight cannot detect a heat signature when it's behind glass. (00:03:45)
Other mistake: After the sprinklers go off in the White House, none of the actors' clothes are wet. With the amount of water sprayed, all of them should have their clothes stuck to their bodies. (01:25:00)
Continuity mistake: When John and Emily start their tour, the guide asks them where they're from. After that, they start to walk towards one hallway. John and Emily are in the back. The next shot, they're in the front of the pack. There would not have been enough time for this to happen. (00:28:00 - 00:29:00)
Factual error: Even if there was a compromise of the president's launch codes, nuclear missiles still cannot be fired without consent of a cabinet member, the captain and XO of a submarine or the equivalent officers at a land based launch site.
Factual error: The submarine that is due to launch nuclear missiles is called the Albuquerque. That submarine is an SSN (attack sub) not an SSBN (missile sub).
Factual error: Shortly after President Sawyer and John have to climb up the elevator shaft in the White House, there is a shot of several motorcycles riding in the front of a motorcade. The motorcycles are BMW R1200RTs. The Capitol Police, DC Metro Police and the Secret Service use Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Continuity mistake: Towards the end of the movie when John is talking to the President after he got shot in the watch, John has a wound on his right arm. A few minutes later when John is outside the White House you can see his wound is different, it's bigger and there's lots more blood. (01:52:50 - 01:55:30)