- Law-enforcement officers in Washington, DC, forcefully removed protesters in Lafayette Square to clear the way for President Donald Trump’s photo shoot at nearby St. John’s Church.
- According to the New York Times, Ivanka Trump played a crucial role in her father’s decision to visit the church, which had been engulfed in flames the night before.
- Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told a June 2 senior staff meeting that the photo op was actually Ivanka’s idea, Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted, citing two White House officials.
- The security perimeter around the White House was not expanded to Lafayette Square before the photo shoot, so Attorney General William Barr gave the order to clear protesters from the park, The Times reported.
- Ivanka urged the president to demonstrate toughness against the protests with the church photo shoot rather than sending military forces into US cities, The Times reported.
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Mayhem erupted in Washington, DC, around 6:30 p.m. on Monday when law-enforcement officers forcefully removed protesters from Lafayette Square, opposite the White House, with tear gas and rubber bullets.
The attack on demonstrators was to clear the way for President Donald Trump to take a photo at St. John’s Church, which had been set on fire during protests the day before.
And according to The New York Times, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, had called for the photo shoot.
White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows told a Tuesday senior staff meeting that Ivanka deserved the credit for that decision, Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted, citing two White House officials.
“Meadows said that while others were getting credit for the church appearance, it was Ivanka Trump who deserved the credit, per two officials,” Haberman said.
“She thanked him and thanked the team for carrying it out, the officials said.”
The Lafayette Square area was initially inspected for security early Monday evening, but as the photo shoot came, it became apparent that an earlier plan to expand the security perimeter around the White House to walk to the church had not taken place, The Times reported.
It was then that Attorney General William Barr gave the order to clear protesters from the northern part of the park, The Times said.
Law-enforcement officers fired rubber bullets and what appeared to be tear gas into the park to disperse the protesters.
Around the same time, Trump gave a speech in the White House Rose Garden, in which he declared himself the “president of law and order.”
“Tear-gas canisters could be heard exploding as Trump spoke in the Rose Garden,” the Associated Press reported.
Reporters on the scene said protesters had not been violent before police cleared them out of the park.
Rev. Mariann Budde, whose diocese St. John’s belongs to, told CNN she was “outraged” by Trump’s appearance.
In addition to condemning the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers, Budde said the president did not “acknowledge the agony and sacred worth of people of color in our nation, who rightfully demand an end to 400 years of systemic racism and white supremacy in our country.”