Report: Trump Demanded Church Photo Op After Being Mocked For Hiding In Bunker
President Trump was reportedly enraged after being publicly criticized for hiding in a bunker during protests following George Floyd’s death. In response, Trump arranged a photo op outside of a church damaged in the protests, according to Business Insider.
- The president staged photos outside of St. John's Episcopal Church, which is just outside of the White House, to demonstrate that he was not afraid to be seen outside.
- Peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square were dispersed by police using tear gas, flash grenades, and rubber bullets that evening to accommodate the president’s media moment.
- CNN first reported that the president staged the photos because he was upset over reports that he was sheltering in a high security bunker under the White House, and the report was later confirmed by both the Washington Post and the New York Times.
The president’s decision to stage a photo op drew criticism from the bishop who presides over the church.
- Episcopal Bishop Mariann Budde was quoted by the Washington Post saying:
"Holding a Bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to enflame violence. I am beyond."
The president’s actions in response to the protests have launched a tirade of criticism against him and his leadership.