Trump Brass Insist Lafayette Crackdown Had ‘Zero’ To Do With Photo-Op

"Protesters were violently cleared from D.C.’s Lafayette Park some 30 minutes before Trump appeared with a Bible outside St. John’s Episcopal Church."

"At separate congressional hearings on Tuesday, two Trump administration officials insisted that the violent police crackdown against protesters at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., on June 1 was about erecting a fence rather than making way for President Donald Trump to pose for photos outside a nearby church.

Acting U.S. Park Police Chief Gregory Monahan told members of the House Natural Resources Committee that park police faced “unprecedented and sustained” violence from protesters in the days before June 1 and acted with “tremendous restraint” to de-escalate the situation. Officers did not act on the order of the White House or any administration official, and there was “zero correlation between our operation and the president’s visit to the church,” he said.

The timing suggests otherwise. Approximately 30 minutes after police began clearing the park using chemical irritants, pepper balls and batons, Trump and an entourage made their way through Lafayette Park to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, where Trump awkwardly held up a Bible for photographers.

“We did not clear the park for a photo-op,” Monahan testified. “There was 100% ― zero ― no correlation between our operation and the president’s visit to the church.”"

Chris D’Angelo and Ryan J. Reilly report for HuffPost July 28, 2020.

Source: HuffPost, 07/29/2020