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“Religious leaders loved it!” Trump claims that only ‘the opposition party’ did not praise THAT photo op

Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday morning that religious leaders held his photo “up” for St. John’s Episcopal Church Monday, claiming only the “opposition party” was against the stunt.

The president told Fox News Brian Kilmeade during his radio show that only Democrats were against the brief visit, where he held up a Bible for photos that could have windows boarded up after rioters lit a fire in the basement of the church on Sunday. .

“Most religious leaders loved it,” Trump said. “I heard Franklin Graham thought it was great this morning. I’ve heard many other people say it was great. ‘

“And it was only the other side that didn’t like it. You know, the opposition – the opposition party as the phrase goes, “he claimed.

Evangelical leader Franklin Graham on Tuesday expressed support for Trump’s religious “statement.”

“Yesterday @POTUS Trump made a statement by walking to @StJohnLafayette who had been vandalized and set on fire during Sunday night’s riots,” tweeted Graham. “God & His Word are the only hope for our country.”

The less than five-minute visit was followed the following day by the President and First Lady who traveled to a shrine to Pope John Paul II in Northeast Washington, D.C.

Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday morning that religious leaders “happily” visited him on Monday at St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op with his Bible – claiming that only the “opposition party” was against the stunt

Trump specifically referred to Evangelist Franklin Graham, tweeted support for the 'statement' from Trump's five-minute visit

Trump specifically referred to Evangelist Franklin Graham, tweeted support for the 'statement' from Trump's five-minute visit

Trump specifically referred to Evangelist Franklin Graham, tweeted support for the ‘statement’ from Trump’s five-minute visit

Franklin is an evangelical leader who is an ally of Trump. The evangelical and religious base has made a major contribution to winning the presidency in 2016

Franklin is an evangelical leader who is an ally of Trump. The evangelical and religious base has made a major contribution to winning the presidency in 2016

Franklin is an evangelical leader who is an ally of Trump. The evangelical and religious base has made a major contribution to winning the presidency in 2016

Before Lafayette Park crossed Pennsylvania Avenue to church, tears were gassed to spread protesters demonstrating between the White House and St. John's - but Trump claims he didn't know and didn't clean up the park

Before Lafayette Park crossed Pennsylvania Avenue to church, tears were gassed to spread protesters demonstrating between the White House and St. John's - but Trump claims he didn't know and didn't clean up the park

Before Lafayette Park crossed Pennsylvania Avenue to church, tears were gassed to spread protesters demonstrating between the White House and St. John’s – but Trump claims he didn’t know and didn’t clean up the park

Trump claimed in his radio interview that he was unaware that protesters gathered at Lafayette Park, which separates the White House and St. John’s, should be forcibly pushed away to make way for the high-profile tour across the street.

“I heard how nice and wonderful the demonstrators were there. Really?’ Trump sarcastically joked at Kilmeade.

“Then why did they burn down the church the day before?” he asked. “They burned down much of it. Fortunately, they were able to catch it on time. ‘

Protesters, violent and not, have surrounded the White House for days, usually in Lafayette Park, opposite the White House’s northern lawn.

Law enforcement fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who had gathered in the park on Monday prior to Trump’s visit to the church across the street.

“When I told me to go to church, I didn’t or didn’t know the protesters,” said Trump, revealing that he didn’t think there would be people to run him free with his retinue from secret officials, clerks, assistants and media on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“Nobody tells me that,” he continued. “They say yes, sir. We go to church. ‘

“So we walked to church. It went very fast. I think it was very symbolic, ”Trump admitted. “I did hold out a Bible. I think that’s a good thing, not a bad thing, and many religious leaders loved it. ‘

The president also claimed that law enforcement did not use tear gas – despite photos and reports that otherwise revealed.

“But most religious leaders loved it,” he repeated to Fox & Friends co-host. “Why wouldn’t they love it? I am standing in front of a church that has experienced trauma – to say the least. ‘

“I mean the whole basement – most of the basement was on fire,” he said. “Thank goodness the church hasn’t burnt down. That is a very important church. ‘

St. John’s is known as the Church of the Presidents, as James Madison, with the exception of Richard Nixon, attended a service there at least once.

While Washington, D.C. tidied up on Tuesday morning, Trump took another religious stunt with him when he took First Lady Melania on a trip to Pope John Paul II’s national shrine.

Trump’s blatant appeal to his religious base, which was pivotal to his 2016 victory, recouped from some religious leaders.

Rector of St. John’s Reverend Gini Gerbasi, who shared water in the park with protesters when police launched tear gas and non-lethal bullets, said Trump had staged a peaceful protest on a “battlefield” so that he “did a cheap political stunt” could perform. ‘

“I find it mind-boggling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would be so grossly abused and manipulated in a way that violates our religious principles, calling on us to defend the rights of all people, even those with whom we may disagree Archbishop Wilton Gregory said in a statement just before Trump’s visit to the National Shrine

Gregory is the highest African American bishop in the country and heads the Archdiocese of Washington for just over a year.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, head of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., claimed that Donald Trump's actions in posing for photos in religious locations are 'objectionable'

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, head of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., claimed that Donald Trump's actions in posing for photos in religious locations are 'objectionable'

Archbishop Wilton Gregory, head of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., claimed that Donald Trump’s actions in posing for photos in religious locations are ‘objectionable’

In the statement, the Archbishop pointed to the defense of human rights by the late Pope John Paul Il by ‘condemning the use of tear gas and other deterrents to silence, disperse or intimidate them for a photo opportunity for a place of worship and peace. ‘

Although he didn’t use the president’s name once in the statement, it was called “Archbishop Wilton Gregory issues a statement about a planned presidential visit” and claimed Trump’s actions were all in the picture on Monday and Tuesday.

Donald Trump’s campaign leader and lawyer quashed the Archbishop’s comments, claiming he is a “left-wing media pawn.”

“Distracting from the powerful image and statement of our President of the United States who holds a Bible for a historic American church,” Jenna Ellis tweeted in response to Gregory’s comments.

“Unfortunately, this bishop is a left-wing media pawn who thrives on destroying everything moral and righteous,” she continued.

About five hours after her visit to the sanctuary, Melania released four photos from the short trip to her official @FLOTUS Twitter page and shared a message confirming her husband’s passion for religious freedom.

“@POTUS & I honored the life and legacy of John Paul II at @ JP2Shrine today,” the first lady posted. “His passion and commitment to religious freedom is a legacy we must protect for people around the world.”

One of the images is of the first couple kneeling from behind the altar in the chapel of the sanctuary.

Trump’s visit to the shrine came the morning after he made a very public trek from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which caught fire during Sunday riots.

Posing with a Saint: Trump and Melania went to the National Shrine of John Paul II, the late Pope who is now a Saint, in his second invocation of religious images in two days

Posing with a Saint: Trump and Melania went to the National Shrine of John Paul II, the late Pope who is now a Saint, in his second invocation of religious images in two days

Posing with a Saint: Trump and Melania went to the National Shrine of John Paul II, the late Pope who is now a Saint, in his second invocation of religious images in two days

A campaign leader defended the visit, claiming that the archbishop who struck the president is a “left-wing media pawn”

One of the images Melania included in her post on Twitter was from behind her, and Trump knelt in front of the altar in the shrine chapel

One of the images Melania included in her post on Twitter was from behind her, and Trump knelt in front of the altar in the shrine chapel

One of the images Melania included in her post on Twitter was from behind her, and Trump knelt in front of the altar in the shrine chapel

Silent: Trump and Melania said nothing after inspecting a wreath at the shrine for Pope John Paul II. It is run by the Knights of Columbus. His White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, was once the general council of the Catholic Men's Association

Silent: Trump and Melania said nothing after inspecting a wreath at the shrine for Pope John Paul II. It is run by the Knights of Columbus. His White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, was once the general council of the Catholic Men's Association

Silent: Trump and Melania said nothing after inspecting a wreath at the shrine for Pope John Paul II. It is run by the Knights of Columbus. His White House counsel, Pat Cipollone, was once the general council of the Catholic Men’s Association

President Trump claimed Tuesday morning that there were “no problems on Monday” in Washington, D.C., but also claimed that there were “many arrests” as violent protesters continued to loot the streets of the capital in another night of riots over the death of George Floyd

View from the Column: Trump's Journey in the Beast with Melania took him past dozens of protesters and banners hanging in his path highlighting the death of George Floyd

View from the Column: Trump's Journey in the Beast with Melania took him past dozens of protesters and banners hanging in his path highlighting the death of George Floyd

View from the Column: Trump’s Journey in the Beast with Melania took him past dozens of protesters and banners hanging in his path highlighting the death of George Floyd

Trolling Trump: Demonstrators on their way to the shrine emphasized that Trump fled to the White House bunker on Friday night when protests raged outside the executive mansion

Trolling Trump: Demonstrators on their way to the shrine emphasized that Trump fled to the White House bunker on Friday night when protests raged outside the executive mansion

Trolling Trump: Demonstrators on their way to the shrine emphasized that Trump fled to the White House bunker on Friday night when protests raged outside the executive mansion

Despite Trump's claim, the scenes were similar to other nights in the city, but now a military helicopter was hovering over protesters and rioters in an effort to spread the crowd

Despite Trump's claim, the scenes were similar to other nights in the city, but now a military helicopter was hovering over protesters and rioters in an effort to spread the crowd

Here's what looks normal: Despite Trump's claim, the scenes in the nation's capital were similar to other nights in the city - and even saw a military helicopter hovering over protesters and rioters in an attempt to disperse the crowd

Here's what looks normal: Despite Trump's claim, the scenes in the nation's capital were similar to other nights in the city - and even saw a military helicopter hovering over protesters and rioters in an attempt to disperse the crowd

Here’s what looks normal: Despite Trump’s claim, the scenes in the nation’s capital were similar to other nights in the city – and even saw a military helicopter hovering over protesters and rioters in an attempt to disperse the crowd

On Monday, the President walked from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church, which was set on fire during Sunday's riots, for a photo-op in which he held up his Bible after declaring in Rose Garden that he was law and order of America is president '

On Monday, the President walked from the White House to St. John's Episcopal Church, which was set on fire during Sunday's riots, for a photo-op in which he held up his Bible after declaring in Rose Garden that he was law and order of America is president '

On Monday, the President walked from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which was set on fire during Sunday’s riots, for a photo-op in which he held up his Bible after declaring in Rose Garden that he was law and order of America is president ‘

White House counsel Kellyanne Conway also had to defend Trump’s actions on Tuesday after Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington criticized the photo for the church.

“That’s not – quote – her church. That’s not – quote – her Bible. We do not look into the hearts and souls of other people and discern and judge their faith, why the President felt compelled to walk there, why he held up that Bible. ‘

“That is a symbol for everyone that we will not allow arsonists and anarchists who set fire to the flames, who really humiliate the memory of those who lost their lives in the name of their respective religions and religions,” said Conway. to Fox News host Harris Faulkner on Tuesday. “We don’t allow them to stop us from practicing our religion.”

Budde said of Trump’s photo op in the D.C. Church: “He took the symbols sacred to our tradition and was waiting in anticipation for a place of worship that would be a festive moment.”

Donald Trump boasted Tuesday morning that law enforcement “dominated” Monday night in Washington, DC, claiming there were “no problems” with rioters, but in the same tweet he claimed there were “many arrests” – and then along the remnants of chaos to visit a Catholic shrine.

D.C. had no problems last night, ‘Trump boasted in his tweet on Tuesday morning. Many arrests. Well done to everyone. Stunning power. Domination. “

“Likewise, Minneapolis was great (thank you President Trump!),” He added, continuing to take credit for the escalating riots in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after calling on the Democratic governor to activate the National Guard there after protests. caused by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the city’s police.

Despite the president’s assertion, the D.C. riots continued in full Monday, even after 7 p.m. curfew was introduced.

Looting, arson and confrontations between rioters and law enforcement officers continued in the country’s capital, as military helicopters hovered low above the streets, using tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan to deter insurgents.

Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and other top Democrats ripped the President apart because tear gas protesters were ‘gassed’ and ‘beaten’ so he could pose for St. John’s Episcopal on Monday evening after a Rose Garden speech.

In the White House, Hope Hicks was blamed for the photo-operation involving the police deploying a path for the President to swing a Bible in front of the church that was damaged by fire on Sunday evening. In the course of the operation, clergy in the church were among those tear-filled and episcopal leaders in the city tore Trump in on Tuesday, accusing him of a “stunt” that turned sacred ground into a “battlefield.”

However, Trump tried to put that aside by going to the shrine and posing for the late Pope, who is now a saint, holding hands with Melania and saying nothing about the violence.

Video also shows the moment when Trump and the first lady stand in front of the statue of John Paul II, where the president tells his wife, who is holding a serious face, to smile for the photos.

Then she smiles curtly at photographers gathered for the trip.

The couple were chased on a column by a city marked by violence that he said hadn’t happened, with protest signs on his route.

Trump’s visit to the shrine was followed by a signing of a ‘proclamation on religious freedom’ as a sign of his hopes to appeal to religious voters.

The shrine to Pope John Paul II is located in Northeast Washington, D.C. and is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus. Although a place of prayer for Catholics, it welcomes people of all faiths.

The president traveled there with a column of first lady Melania – passing protesters who mocked him for retreating to a bunker and beating him for using St John’s as a photo-op, as well as expressing anger at Floyd’s death and systematic racism .

Melania claims to be Catholic but has never been seen in public at a Catholic church, and it has been a full year since the President last attended a church service.

The move comes the morning after President Trump used the front of St John’s Episcopal Church, which was boarded up, for a photo Monday – with a peaceful demonstrator being gassed and pushed back by the police on horses.

It is directly opposite the north side of the White House, separated only by Lafayette Park, which was gassed to expel protesters just before the president came out of his residence to take the short trip across the street – flanked by the secret service, the cabinet members, assistants and media all the way there and back.

Church priests on Monday revealed they were part of a peaceful crowd gassed by agents paving the way for Trump.

Gini Gerbasi, rector at the church, revealed on Facebook on Monday that she and other clergy and laymen were sharing water with protesters as police flooded the area, pushing protesters, using tear gas and unleashing rubber bullets.

“That man turned it into a BATTLE AND a cheap political stunt at first,” Gerbasi said in her post.

St. John's was boarded up as protests surrounded the White House in recent days and gathered at Lafayette Park, which is between the White House and the church. Rioters put a Sunday in the basement of the church. This was Trump's first visit to a church since June last year

St. John's was boarded up as protests surrounded the White House in recent days and gathered at Lafayette Park, which is between the White House and the church. Rioters put an a in the basement of the church on Sunday. This was Trump's first visit to a church since June last year

St. John’s was boarded up as protests surrounded the White House in recent days and gathered at Lafayette Park, which is between the White House and the church. Rioters put a Sunday in the basement of the church. This was Trump’s first visit to a church since June last year

Protesters in Lafayette Park were gassed and hit with non-lethal rubber bullets to clear the path for the President's trek across the street

Protesters in Lafayette Park were gassed and hit with non-lethal rubber bullets to clear the path for the President's trek across the street

Protesters in Lafayette Park were gassed and hit with non-lethal rubber bullets to clear the path for the President’s trek across the street

While making the short trip across the street to church, the president passed blasphemy graffiti aimed at Trump

While making the short trip across the street to church, the president passed blasphemy graffiti aimed at Trump

While making the short trip across the street to church, the president passed blasphemy graffiti aimed at Trump

The main message was 'f *** Trump'

The main message was 'f *** Trump'

The main message was ‘f *** Trump’

Joe Biden sues Donald Trump for ‘narcissism’ after demonstrators protesting for a photo

Biden beat president Donald Trump because of his racist rhetoric, “narcissism,” and his Monday night stunt where White House protesters were gassed with tear gas so the president could take a photo.

He also suggested that Trump open a Bible “instead of waving it,” as the President did outside of St. John’s Church in Washington after those peaceful protesters were removed. The suspected Democratic nominee advised the President to read the Constitution, especially the First Amendment.

“I will try to heal the racial wounds that have plagued this country for a long time – not to use them for political gain,” the ex-vice president promised.

Biden spoke at Philadelphia’s City Hall on Tuesday – his first major speech after the coronavirus pandemic made him broadcast from his basement because of Delaware’s home warrant since mid-March.

Joe Biden delivered his first major speech since the Tuesday coronavirus pandemic at Philadelphia's City Hall, where he criticized President Trump for his racist rhetoric, narcissism and protesting White House protesters Monday night

Joe Biden delivered his first major speech since the Tuesday coronavirus pandemic at Philadelphia's City Hall, where he criticized President Trump for his racist rhetoric, narcissism and protesting White House protesters Monday night

Joe Biden delivered his first major speech since the Tuesday coronavirus pandemic at Philadelphia’s City Hall, where he criticized President Trump for his racist rhetoric, narcissism and protesting White House protesters Monday night

‘I can not breathe. I can’t breathe, “said Biden. George Floyd’s final words. But they did not die with him. They are still being heard. They echo throughout this country. ‘

“They speak a nation where millions of people – not the moment they lose their lives – but the course of their lives – say to themselves,” I can’t breathe, “Biden continued.

Biden went on to condemn both the looting and the destruction of property that came as part of the troubled and racist police work, presenting a number of remedies that could help eradicate problem officers, noting that most do a good job.

But then Biden turned to Trump’s actions, especially those of the past 24 hours.

“When peaceful protesters spread around a president, a president, from the doorstep of the people’s house, the white house – with tear gas and flash grenades – to take a picture, put a picture on, in one of the most historic churches in the country, or at least in washington, dc, it We can be forgiven for believing that the President is more interested in power than in principle, “said Biden.

“More interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people under his care,” said Biden.

“Because that’s the presidency,” Biden noted. “The duty of care. To take care of all of us, not just those who vote for us, but all of us. Not just our donors, but all of us. ‘

During Trump’s trek, he walked with a troop of government officials through Lafayette Park and stood in front of St. John’s Church with a Bible in hand.

“I wish he opened it occasionally, instead of swinging it. If he had opened it, he could have learned something: that we are all called to love each other the way we love ourselves, “said Biden.

Before Trump walked out the front door of the White House to church, Trump stated in his Rose Garden address to the nation that he was leaving to “ pay my respects to a very, very special place. ”

The visit was a clear photo, spending less than five minutes in front of the church and calling on members of his cabinet to stand next to him and face the media.

He was joined by Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Attorney General Barr, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and White House Press Chief Kayleigh McEnany.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley was part of the entourage, but was not called upon by the President to participate in the photo op.

When he arrived for church, he declared America the “greatest country in the world” before raising his Bible for a photo.

He also claimed ‘we’re going to keep it [America] safe.’

A fire burned in the basement of St. John’s Church on Sunday evening, but the chapel was unaffected and boarded up during the violent protests.

The church burned on Sunday as rioters descended on Lafayette Park, setting American flags on fire and confronting law enforcement and being gassed with tear gas – other protesters also surrounded the White House.

Trump’s appearance in St. John’s was the first time the president has visited a church in public since June 2019.

Every incumbent president, except Richard Nixon, has visited the church at least once since its construction in 1816, starting with James Madison.

Trump was reportedly angry with reports that he fled in a White House bunker on Friday and was concerned about his safety during George Floyd protests when riots broke out in Washington, D.C. – and hundreds of other cities across the country.

Trump told his assistants that he wanted to be seen outside the gates of the White House, which led to his walk to St. Johns, according to CNN White House correspondent Kaitlin Collins.

But his photo shoot sparked outrage among church leaders and rival politicians, prompting Arlington County police to pull their officers out of the capital after they were used to attacking protesters.

Rector Gerbasi revealed in a shaken Facebook post that she and other Black Lives Matter organizers shared water and helped protesters along with other clergy and laymen when police expelled protesters with tear gas and non-lethal bullets.

“That man first turned into a BATTLE OF BATTLE and then into a cheap political stunt,” Gerbasi wrote.

“Friends, I’m okay, but I was honestly shaken … Around 6:15 or 6:30, the police really started pushing protesters off H Street … They started using tear gas and people were running to us for eye wash or water or wet paper towels, “she said.

She said she was shocked to learn that the clash with protesters was to clear the area for Trump.

“I literally could not believe it. We were driven from the patio at St. John’s – a place of rest and tranquility and medical care during the day – so that people could get a photo opportunity for church. People were injured so he could pose for the Church with a Bible, ”she said.

Glenna Huber, a priest and rector of The Church of the Epiphany, was also at church helping protesters when the police came and forced the crowd out.

‘I am shocked. Just before that we were handing out snacks and water. Men sang on the stairs. People sang and gathered peacefully. I left when the National Guard arrived. They sprayed tear gas. I was out for the rubber bullets. En toen sprak de president, ‘postte Hubber op Facebook.

Na het incident belden functionarissen van Arlington County hun politie uit Washington DC nadat hun officieren, gewapend met ACPD-helmen en oproeruitrusting, functionarissen van het US Park hielpen bij het verspreiden van demonstranten in de buurt van de kerk.

Arlington-functionarissen zeiden dat ze zondag agenten stuurden op verzoek van de politie van het Park, maar ze wisten niet dat agenten zouden worden gebruikt om te botsen met demonstranten en dat ze hun politie naar huis hadden bevolen.

‘Schrikwekkende overeenkomst inzake wederzijdse hulp misbruikt om hun en anderen veiligheid in gevaar te brengen voor een foto-op. We hebben @ArlingtonVaPD opdracht gegeven DC onmiddellijk te verlaten ‘, tweette County Board-voorzitter Libby Garvey maandagavond, ongeveer twee uur na de fotosessie van Trump.

‘Op aanwijzing van de County Board, County Manager en politiechef hebben ACPD-agenten het district verlaten. We evalueren de overeenkomsten waardoor onze officieren in een compromitterende positie konden worden gebracht, waardoor het doel van deze verplichtingen inzake wederzijdse hulp werd ondermijnd ‘, zei Katie Cristol, lid van de County Board.

Rector Gini Gerbasi

Rector Gini Gerbasi

Priester Glenna Huber zegt dat ze deel uitmaakte van de menigte die werd aangevallen door de politie om plaats te maken voor Trump

Priester Glenna Huber zegt dat ze deel uitmaakte van de menigte die werd aangevallen door de politie om plaats te maken voor Trump

Rector Gini Gerbasi (links) en priester Glenna Huber (rechts) zeggen dat ze gescheiden waren van de menigte vreedzame demonstranten van George Floyd die door de politie werden geteisterd en met rubberen kogels werden geslagen om een ​​pad vrij te maken voor president Donald Trump om foto’s te maken voor St. John’s Church

De bisschoppelijke bisschop van Washington DC, bisschop Mariann Budde, veroordeelde de president omdat hij geweld gebruikte 'om de kerk als steun te gebruiken'

De bisschoppelijke bisschop van Washington DC, bisschop Mariann Budde, veroordeelde de president omdat hij geweld gebruikte 'om de kerk als steun te gebruiken'

De bisschoppelijke bisschop van Washington DC, bisschop Mariann Budde, veroordeelde de president omdat hij geweld gebruikte ‘om de kerk als steun te gebruiken’

Er worden agenten van de politie van Arlington County afgebeeld die demonstranten buiten het Witte Huis terugduwen, en deze wetshandhavers werden uit Washington D.C. geroepen.

Er worden agenten van de politie van Arlington County afgebeeld die demonstranten buiten het Witte Huis terugduwen, en deze wetshandhavers werden uit Washington D.C. geroepen.

Er worden agenten van de politie van Arlington County afgebeeld die demonstranten buiten het Witte Huis terugduwen, en deze wetshandhavers werden uit Washington D.C. geroepen.

'Schrikwekkende overeenkomst inzake wederzijdse hulp misbruikt om hun en anderen veiligheid in gevaar te brengen voor een foto-op. We hebben @ArlingtonVaPD bevolen om DC onmiddellijk te verlaten ', tweette de bestuursvoorzitter van Arlington County, Libby Garvey, maandagavond, ongeveer twee uur na de fotosessie van Trump

'Appalled mutual aid agreement abused to endanger their and others safety for a photo op. We ordered @ArlingtonVaPD to immediately leave DC,' Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey tweeted Monday night, about two hours after Trump's photo session

‘Appalled mutual aid agreement abused to endanger their and others safety for a photo op. We ordered @ArlingtonVaPD to immediately leave DC,’ Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey tweeted Monday night, about two hours after Trump’s photo session

Inside the White House, longtime Donald Trump aide Hope Hicks has been identified as having helped hatch the plan to have the president walk across the street from the White House to pose in front of St. John’s church – staged event that police and National Guard forces facilitated by using tear gas and rubber bullets to clear away peaceful protesters.

The move was conceived as a way to allow Trump to demonstrate his self-proclaimed role as the ‘law and order president’ and – came after the president vowed to use the military to restore order in cities across the country.

As a PR move it may have backfired, after global and national media broadcast images of sheild-bearing and mounted police using force to clear Lafayette Park, an area whose use as a forum for demonstrations and speech has long been protected.

Hicks accompanied Trump as he walked across Lafayette Park to pose at the church. Media who accompanied them reported the taste of tear gas still lingering in the air.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who had ordered a 7 pm curfew Monday, said she was ‘shocked’ that people who didn’t seem to provoke attack were ‘attacked’ by federal law enforcement who cleared the way for Trump.

The walk outside the White House gates – the first as president by the heavily-guarded Trump – came after he had been confined at home for more than a day.

Trump had been upset by the disclosure that Secret Service had taken him to bunker deep beneath the White House as police clashed with protesters Friday night, the Washington Post reported, and wondered why someone would disclose it to the press.

Although he was not there long, it clashed with the image of strength Trump usually likes to put forward.

Although Trump traveled to Florida to watch a rocket launch Saturday and addressed the death of George Floyd during his arrest by Minneapolis police officers, he had not been seen since a new wave of protest and violence erupted that night.

Nancy Pelosi brandishes her OWN Bible as she slams Donald Trump for having peaceful protesters ‘beaten’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi brandished her own bible on Tuesday to chastise President Donald Trump for having protesters ‘beaten’ so he could hold a photo-op in front of St. John’s church.

The speaker held up her bible, in a counter to President Trump brandishing a bible on Monday afternoon, to read from Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8, focusing on its message of a ‘time to heal.’

‘Let’s focus from time to time to heal,’ she said during an event in the U.S. Capitol. ‘We have had as the role of President of the United States, role of commander of chief, a person who has a responsibility to heal.’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi brandished her own bible on Tuesday to chastise President Donald Trump for having protesters 'beaten' so he could hold a photo-op

Speaker Nancy Pelosi brandished her own bible on Tuesday to chastise President Donald Trump for having protesters 'beaten' so he could hold a photo-op

Speaker Nancy Pelosi brandished her own bible on Tuesday to chastise President Donald Trump for having protesters ‘beaten’ so he could hold a photo-op

She cited the example of President George H.W. Bush’s address during the LA riots during the 1990s in the wake of police officers being acquitted for using excessive force against Rodney King.

She quoted Bush’s words: ‘Those terrible scenes stir us all to demand an end to gratuitous violence and gratuitous brutality. Law enforcement officials cannot place themselves above the law that they are sworn to defend. It was sickening to see the beating that was rendered and there’s no way, no way, in my view, to explain that away.’

Pelosi then criticized President Trump after law enforcement officials used rubber bullets, tear gas and officers on horse back to clear out protesters so the president could leave the White House, Lafayette Park to pose with a bible in front of the historic St. Johns’ Church, known as the Church of Presidents as every president since James Madison has prayed there.

‘We would hope that the President of the United States would follow the lead of so many other presidents before has to be a healer in chief and not a fanner of the flame. Yesterday we saw a most unfortunate situation where before the curfew -the time of the curfew occurred – peaceful protesters in front of the White House were beaten so the president could come out and go forward. What is that? That has no place and it’s time for us to do away with that. A time to heal,’ she said.The president spoke in a televised speech from the Rose Garden on Monday evening and tear gas canisters could be heard exploding in the background before he walked over to the church and posed holding a Bible.

The spectacle began on the Rose Garden when Trump claimed he’s an ally of peaceful demonstrators but warned, ‘I am your president of law and order.’

After his speech he walked to the church for his photo shoot.

The protesters in the area Monday evening appeared to be acting peacefully before they were forced out through the aggressive measures including rubber bullets, pepper spray, and tear gas.

The Episcopal Bishop of Washington DC, Mariann Budde, slammed Trump for using force to push out George Floyd protesters and for posing in front of the embattled church.

Bishop Budde said: ‘I am outraged. I am the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and was not given even a courtesy call that they would be clearing with tear gas so they could use one of our churches as a prop, holding a Bible, one that declares that God is love and when everything he has said and done is to enflame violence.’

Budde said neither she nor the rector were told that authorities would be clearing protesters with tear gas, she said to the Washington Post.

Trump called members of his cabinet, including U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr (left), National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien (second from left) and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (right) up for the picture opportunity

Trump called members of his cabinet, including U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr (left), National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien (second from left) and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (right) up for the picture opportunity

Trump called members of his cabinet, including U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr (left), National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien (second from left) and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany (right) up for the picture opportunity

The president pictured walking in Lafayette Park to visit St. John's church from the White House on Monday evening, he was flanked by members of his cabinet, aides, Secret Service and various members of the media

The president pictured walking in Lafayette Park to visit St. John's church from the White House on Monday evening, he was flanked by members of his cabinet, aides, Secret Service and various members of the media

The president pictured walking in Lafayette Park to visit St. John’s church from the White House on Monday evening, he was flanked by members of his cabinet, aides, Secret Service and various members of the media

A U.S. Secret Service counter assault team member carries a sniper rifle through Lafayette Park as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a photo opportunity in front of St. John's Episcopal Church across from the White House amid George Floyd protests

A U.S. Secret Service counter assault team member carries a sniper rifle through Lafayette Park as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a photo opportunity in front of St. John's Episcopal Church across from the White House amid George Floyd protests

A U.S. Secret Service counter assault team member carries a sniper rifle through Lafayette Park as U.S. President Donald Trump holds a photo opportunity in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House amid George Floyd protests

She added: ‘We so disassociate ourselves from the messages of this president. We hold the teachings of our sacred texts to be so so grounding to our lives and everything we do and it is about love of neighbor and sacrificial love and justice’.

New York Andrew Cuomo slammed the president as 'shameful' for dispersing peaceful protesters for his own agenda

New York Andrew Cuomo slammed the president as 'shameful' for dispersing peaceful protesters for his own agenda

New York Andrew Cuomo slammed the president as ‘shameful’ for dispersing peaceful protesters for his own agenda

She appeared on CNN Monday evening bashing Trump’s photo op as an ‘abuse of a sacred symbol to justify an approach to this crisis that is antithetical to everything that we stand for.’

The president posed for photographers, holding a Bible as he stood in front of the boarded-up 200-year-old church, that has been visited by every president since James Madison.

‘We have a great country. It won’t take long. It’s not going to take long to see what is going on. It’s coming back, and it’s coming back strong. It will be greater than ever before,’ Trump said as the clamor of protesters, helicopters and explosions are heard in the background.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden also condemned Trump’s use of military action against protesters.

‘He’s using the American military against the American people. He tear-gassed peaceful protesters and fired rubber bullets. For a photo. For our children, for the very soul of our country, we must defeat him. But I mean it when I say this: we can only do it together,’ Biden tweeted Monday evening.

Florida Rep. Val Demings tweeted: ‘When we impeached this president, we warned that he was a dictator in waiting. I believe now what I believed then: this president is a threat to our democracy, our families, and to us.’

New York Andrew Cuomo slammed the president as ‘shameful’ for using military force to disperse peaceful protesters for his own agenda.

‘The president is calling out the American military against American citizens. He used the military to push out a peaceful protest so he could have a photo op at a church. It’s all just a reality TV show for this president. Shameful,’ Cuomo tweeted Monday evening.

CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlin Collins tweeted Trump was angry about news coverage that he fled into a White House bunker on Friday during George Floyd protests and told his aides he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates, prompting his walk to St. Johns

CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlin Collins tweeted Trump was angry about news coverage that he fled into a White House bunker on Friday during George Floyd protests and told his aides he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates, prompting his walk to St. Johns

CNN White House Correspondent Kaitlin Collins tweeted Trump was angry about news coverage that he fled into a White House bunker on Friday during George Floyd protests and told his aides he wanted to be seen outside the White House gates, prompting his walk to St. Johns

The president pictured pumping his first as he walks through a line of riot police in Lafayette Park across from the White House as he waked to St. John's church on Monday

The president pictured pumping his first as he walks through a line of riot police in Lafayette Park across from the White House as he waked to St. John's church on Monday

The president pictured pumping his first as he walks through a line of riot police in Lafayette Park across from the White House as he waked to St. John’s church on Monday

READ TRUMP’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON ADVANCING INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy (a) Religious freedom, America’s first freedom, is a moral and national security imperative. Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom. As stated in the 2017 National Security Strategy, our Founders understood religious freedom not as a creation of the state, but as a gift of God to every person and a right that is fundamental for the flourishing of our society.

(b) Religious communities and organizations, and other institutions of civil society, are vital partners in United States Government efforts to advance religious freedom around the world. It is the policy of the United States to engage robustly and continually with civil society organizations — including those in foreign countries — to inform United States Government policies, programs, and activities related to international religious freedom.

Sec. 2. Prioritization of International Religious Freedom. Within 180 days of the date of this order, the Secretary of State (Secretary) shall, in consultation with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), develop a plan to prioritize international religious freedom in the planning and implementation of United States foreign policy and in the foreign assistance programs of the Department of State and USAID.

Sec. 3. Foreign Assistance Funding for International Religious Freedom. (a) The Secretary shall, in consultation with the Administrator of USAID, budget at least $50 million per fiscal year for programs that advance international religious freedom, to the extent feasible and permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations. Such programs shall include those intended to anticipate, prevent, and respond to attacks against individuals and groups on the basis of their religion, including programs designed to help ensure that such groups can persevere as distinct communities; to promote accountability for the perpetrators of such attacks; to ensure equal rights and legal protections for individuals and groups regardless of belief; to improve the safety and security of houses of worship and public spaces for all faiths; and to protect and preserve the cultural heritages of religious communities.

(b) Executive departments and agencies (agencies) that fund foreign assistance programs shall ensure that faith-based and religious entities, including eligible entities in foreign countries, are not discriminated against on the basis of religious identity or religious belief when competing for Federal funding, to the extent permitted by law.

Sec. 4. Integrating International Religious Freedom into United States Diplomacy. (a) The Secretary shall direct Chiefs of Mission in countries of particular concern, countries on the Special Watch List, countries in which there are entities of particular concern, and any other countries that have engaged in or tolerated violations of religious freedom as noted in the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom required by section 102(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-292), as amended (the “Act”), to develop comprehensive action plans to inform and support the efforts of the United States to advance international religious freedom and to encourage the host governments to make progress in eliminating violations of religious freedom.

(b) In meetings with their counterparts in foreign governments, the heads of agencies shall, when appropriate and in coordination with the Secretary, raise concerns about international religious freedom and cases that involve individuals imprisoned because of their religion.

(c) The Secretary shall advocate for United States international religious freedom policy in both bilateral and multilateral fora, when appropriate, and shall direct the Administrator of USAID to do the same.

Sec. 5. Training for Public Officials. (a) The Secretary shall require all Department of State civil service employees in the Foreign Affairs Series to undertake training modeled on the international religious freedom training described in section 708(a) of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-465), as amended by section 103(a)(1) of the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (Public Law 114-281).

(b) Within 90 days of the date of this order, the heads of all agencies that assign personnel to positions overseas shall submit plans to the President, through the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, detailing how their agencies will incorporate the type of training described in subsection (a) of this section into the training required before the start of overseas assignments for all personnel who are to be stationed abroad, or who will deploy and remain abroad, in one location for 30 days or more.

(c) All Federal employees subject to these requirements shall be required to complete international religious freedom training not less frequently than once every 3 years.

Sec. 6. Economic Tools. (a) The Secretary and the Secretary of the Treasury shall, in consultation with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and through the process described in National Security Presidential Memorandum-4 of April 4, 2017 (Organization of the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council, and Subcommittees), develop recommendations to prioritize the appropriate use of economic tools to advance international religious freedom in countries of particular concern, countries on the Special Watch List, countries in which there are entities of particular concern, and any other countries that have engaged in or tolerated violations of religious freedom as noted in the report required by section 102(b) of the Act. These economic tools may include, as appropriate and to the extent permitted by law, increasing religious freedom programming, realigning foreign assistance to better reflect country circumstances, or restricting the issuance of visas under section 604(a) of the Act.

(b) The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may consider imposing sanctions under Executive Order 13818 of December 20, 2017 (Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption), which, among other things, implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act (Public Law 114-328).

Sec. 7. Definitions. For purposes of this order: (a) “Country of particular concern” is defined as provided in section 402(b)(1)(A) of the Act;

(b) “Entity of particular concern” is defined as provided in section 301 of the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (Public Law 114-281);

(c) “Special Watch List” is defined as provided in sections 3(15) and 402(b)(1)(A)(iii) of the Act; and

(d) “Violations of religious freedom” is defined as provided in section 3(16) of the Act.

Sec. 8. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Donald J. Trump

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