Trump WALKS to vandalized St. John’s Church as riot police face off with protesters in US capital (PHOTOS & VIDEO)
After a brief statement from the White House on Monday evening calling again for an end to the protests and rioting that’s erupted across dozens of American cities, Trump took a stroll to St. John’s Church near the White House for a surprise photo-op.
“We have the greatest country in the world. Going to keep it nice and safe,” the president said while posing in front of the church, which on Sunday night was vandalized and damaged by fire amid turmoil sparked by the police killing of a Minneapolis man last week.
Trump heading to St John’s church. Asked about clearing out a park for a photo op. pic.twitter.com/4icg7olFPf— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 1, 2020
I almost can’t believe what I’m seeing. POTUS just walked out the front door of the White House and into Lafayette Square - the epicenter of the DC protests - to visit historic St. John’s Church, which was set on fire last night. pic.twitter.com/XueoF2RC6z— Kristin Fisher (@KristinFisher) June 1, 2020
Moments before the photo-op, as the president prepared to address the nation, clashes erupted between protesters and riot police on the streets of DC, seeing armor-clad officers firing tear gas and other crowd-control munitions into a group of demonstrators, who are now violating the city’s 7pm curfew order.
This is what happened on the other side of the White House only 5 minutes before President Trump began remarks in the Rose Garden. pic.twitter.com/n3UNLTBAKn— Allie Malloy (@AlliemalCNN) June 1, 2020
Some 1,700 National Guard troops have been deployed to the city as the unrest rages on, with reports that additional active-duty soldiers and military police could be sent into the capital. In his White House statement, the president vowed to dispatch “thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers” and police if the rioting doesn’t end – not only to the capital but any of the dozens of cities where similar turmoil has broken out.
After a few minutes outside the church, Trump returned to the White House, flanked by a massive crowd of police and troops, who cleared out nearby Lafayette Park so he could reach the church unimpeded.
Pres returns to the White House from St. John's, walking through a phalanx of troops and police that cleared Lafayette Park of protestors so he could walk to the church. pic.twitter.com/J1eykTcjGt— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 1, 2020
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