Trump’s Cynical Ploy at St. John’s

On June 1, 2020, in the middle of his re-election campaign and with tensions in America high following the killing of George Floyd, President Donald Trump did what he often does: create chaos for his own political benefit, and implicated Christianity in his own misdeeds to the detriment of our faith. He knew he’d need to use violence against Americans to make the way for his shameless photo-op, but that didn’t stop him. Riot equipment was used so that he could walk across Lafayette Park and stand, holding a Bible he had borrowed, in front of St. John’s Church. The Trump campaign was promoting this antic on its social media pages within hours, betting again that the chaos they had created could be politically useful.

Here’s what Three GOP Senators Had to Say About It:

"There is no right to riot, no right to destroy others’ property ... but there is a fundamental — a Constitutional — right to protest, and I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop.''
- Sen. Ben Sasse

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“Obviously, if your question is, should you use tear gas to clear a path so the president can go have a photo-op, the answer is no”
- Sen. Tim Scott

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“It was “painful to watch peaceful protesters be subjected to tear gas in order for the president to go across the street to a church that I believe he’s attended only once.’’
- Sen. Susan Collins

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Washington Post: Timeline: The Clearing of St. John’s

Sen. Mitt Romney criticizes President Trump for clearing ‘nonviolent’ protesters for a ‘photo op’ 
“From the news clips I have seen, the protesters across from the White House were orderly and nonviolent. They should not have been removed by force and without warning, particularly when the apparent purpose was to stage a photo op”
-Sen. Mitt Romney

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., called Trump’s walk to the church “confrontational” and said it “distracted from his important message in the Rose Garden about our national grief, racism, peaceful protests and lawful assembly.’’ That message “was drowned out by an awkward photo op,’’ Lankford said.

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